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Lab update: Changes to pediatric differential orders

New process aligns with all age groups

By Calvin M. Smith, senior specialist, Hematology

Starting Jan. 21, the hematology laboratory will update its policy for performing manual differentials on pediatric patients under the age of six months.

Current practice is to perform and report a manual differential on CBCA orders for patients six months and younger. Our new process will align with the practice for all other age groups. This requires evaluation of instrument results to determine if the automated differential results are valid.

Based on instrument flagging criteria, the technologist will perform a smear review. Using microscopic findings, in accordance to procedural guidelines, the technologist will either perform and report a manual differential or report the automated differential. This change will reduce time spent reviewing normal patient results, helping to improve the turnaround time on both normal and abnormal results.

Please direct questions to myself, Cal Smith, senior hematology specialist, 503-814-1648,; or Daryl G. Vogel, M.D., PhD, medical director, 503-814-3350,

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