Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas Laboratory Network Consumer Health Information

In this section you'll find information on acronyms frequently used in Lab services, as well as questions frequently asked by our patients. 

Frequently Used Acronyms

Ag - Antigen
APTT - Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time
BMP - Basic Metabolic Package
BNP - Brian Naturetic Peptid
CBC - Complete Blood Cell Count
CF - Cystic Fibrosis 
CMP - Comprehensive Metabolic Package
CMV - Cytomegalovirus 
DAT - Direct Antiglobulin Testing
DNA - Deoxyribonucleic Acid
FISH - Fluorecent In Situ Hybridization
HCT - Hematocrit
HgB - Hemoglobin 
HLA - Human Leukocyte Antigen
HSV - Herpes Simplex Virus 
LRC - Leukoreduced Red Cells
MRSA - Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
PLT - Platelet
PT - Prothrombin Time
RBC - Red Blood Cells
RNA - Ribonucleic Acid 
SDX - Sickle Cell Negative / Hemaglobin S Negative
T&C - Blood Type and Antibody Screen with Crossmatched Units
T&S - Blood Type and Antibody Screen
TT - Tissue Typing
TX - Transplant
WBC - White Blood Cell
XM - Crossmatch

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a bacteria and a virus?
Viruses are microorganisms without a cell wall, able to reproduce only by inserting itself into a host cell and using the reproduction mechanisms from the host cell to reproduce. There are numerous groups of different viruses that can cause diseases such as chicken pox, influenza, herpes and HIV. Bacteria are microorganisms that have a cell wall surrounding them. They contain the appropriate materials in order to reproduce without having to enter a host cell. Bacteria are everywhere in the environment; most of which are beneficial to us and some that cause disease.

Viruses are true parasites in that they cannot live long without the host cell supplying energy, protection and the means to allow the virus to replicate. Routine antibiotics are not active against viruses. Special anti-viral drugs may be active against some viruses.

What is involved with giving a blood or tissue sample?
Carolinas Laboratory Network analyzes everything from tumor biopsies to DNA to blood type tests.

Drawing blood may cause some people mild discomfort, but it is usually a quick process with no side effects. A healthcare professional may ask patients about their current medications, drug or alcohol use, pregnancy status, or other health questions. It is very important that the patient answer honestly. All information given to healthcare providers is private. Tissue samples may require some kind of sedation or anesthesia. Patients should discuss the complexity of this process with their physicians.

How does Carolinas Laboratory Network (CLN) handle tests?
Accuracy and privacy are the two most important concerns of Carolinas Laboratory Network staff.

CLN conforms to a number of hospital, medical association and federal regulations when it handles blood and tissue samples. The staff members who handle specimens are highly trained personnel who perform thousands of tests a year. Results are verified and reported to physicians who then discuss results with patients.

Why does the lab need more than one vial of blood?
Different vials contain different additives. Each additive helps the lab look for different characteristics in the blood cells. Some tests require only one vial of blood, while other tests might need a larger sample or a variety of additive reactions.

How can patients donate blood for themselves or a friend?
Donating blood for oneself is called autologous donation. This is mainly done when there is a possibility of a blood transfusion during a scheduled surgery. Patients make an appointment with a blood collection facility (the Red Cross or the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas) to donate blood. The unit is sent to the hospital where the surgery will take place.

Donating for a friend or family member is called directed donation. Patients first come to the hospital laboratory to have compatibility tests. From there, patients make an appointment with the Red Cross and specify who the unit is for. Typically autologous and directed donations take 10 days to process before they arrive at the hospital.

How safe is the blood supply?
The blood supply is safer now than it has ever been. Numerous tests are done to make sure that blood products that are transfused to patients are as safe as possible. Blood collection facilities test every unit of blood donated for HIV, HTLV and hepatitis as well as syphilis. Donors are questioned about risky behaviors that could have exposed them to diseases before they are allowed to donate. The only problem with the blood supply is that it is in such high demand. Please donate!

What is the universal donor?
Blood type O is considered to be the universal donor. This means that anyone, no matter what their blood type, can receive O type blood.

What is the normal hemoglobin for males/females?
Males (13-16 g/dl) Females (12-16 g/dl)

Who is the contact for donating a kidney?
Contact the Carolinas Medical Center Transplant Center at 704-355-6649.

Who is the contact for donating bone marrow?
Call the American Red Cross at 1-800-REDCROSS or visit www.redcross.org.

Does Carolinas Laboratory Network perform paternity testing?
No.

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