Clinical Chemistry refers to biochemical tests that measure various analytes, such as electrolytes, minerals, enzymes and metabolites in a variety of samples (blood, urine & other body fluids). The results are then utilized to help with disease diagnosis and guide therapeutic decisions.

The accuracy of the biochemistry tests and their interpretation are primarily dependent upon the quality of the submitted material. Keep the following important factors in mind when submitting samples:

  • Sampling prior to therapy is vital to the reliability of all types of samples.
  • Submit a complete clinical history including physical examination findings, current medication and time and date of obtaining the sample from the patient.
  • Selection of the proper volumes, type of samples and appropriate containers or vacutainer tubes. All submissions for Chemistry are made in vacutainer tubes of various types.
  • Submission of volumes in excess of the requirement is ideal as it enables further investigation without re-sampling.

The most frequent causes of inaccurate biochemical tests are:

  • Aged sample
  • Hemolysis, icterus and/or lipemia
  • Insufficient sample quantity
  • Drug interference from post therapy sampling or contamination

Test requirements for chemistry and special chemistry are briefly outlined on the Submission Form and additional details are listed in Available Tests. For more information about available tests and submission requirements, please contact the Chemistry laboratory at 902-566-0860 or visit the “Available Tests” section of this website.

Sample Arrival Time
Samples should arrive at the laboratory before 3:30 pm to ensure that all requested tests can be completed that day. For samples that arrive after 3:30 pm some tests may be done that day but some will not be completed until the following day.

Emergency or “STAT” Requests
All requests for “STAT” service should be addressed to the laboratory. Consideration should be given to which individual tests are required “STAT” and which tests can be done within the standard work schedule.