Every year during the last week of April, we celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) where we recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of medical laboratory professionals who play critical roles at Vitalant and in the healthcare system.
With multiple types of laboratories, Vitalant’s medical laboratory professionals meet numerous needs for patients and the medical communities we serve. They are responsible for performing and analyzing diagnostic tests that help healthcare providers make accurate and timely diagnoses, ensure the safety of the blood supply, find matches for patients with specialized blood needs, and more. They work behind the scenes, often unseen by patients, but their contributions are vital to Vitalant’s ability to fulfill our lifesaving mission.
Some of our laboratories include:
Vitalant’s Immunohematology Reference Labs collaborate with hospital partners to provide routine and complex serological testing, which checks for the level of specific antibodies in blood. They use this information to aid in identifying which donations are the best match for patients relying on transfusions and to provide technical and medical consultations. Some patients who require routine transfusions, like those fighting sickle cell disease or leukemia, often need blood that is matched beyond their specific blood group (A, B, O) and RH factor (+/-) to help ensure they have a successful and reaction-free transfusion.
Vitalant’s component manufacturing laboratories, which manufacture donated whole blood into its transfusable parts, called components, in a laboratory setting using specialized equipment. Components produced are red blood cells, plasma, and many specialized blood products, and donations given in their component form (like platelets, Power Red donations, and plasma donations) undergo further processing and readying for patients.
Vitalant’s coagulation laboratories, which provide special services to patients fighting thrombosis in the form of highly specialized screenings and diagnostic tests for causes of both arterial and venous thrombosis. They evaluate patients with suspected hypercoagulable disorders, ordering appropriate laboratory testing, interpreting results, formulating correct diagnoses, and finally providing treatment and recommendations.
Vitalant’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) laboratories, which analyze key markers for patients relying on organ transplants to help find a matching donor. In partnership with physicians, hospital transplant programs, surgeons, and organ procurement organizations, Vitalant’s HLA laboratories provide this key testing and consultation to help guide critical and time-sensitive decisions for those relying on a kidney, lung or heart transplant.
We are grateful for the medical laboratory professionals whose hard work plays a critical role in supporting our lifesaving mission every day.
Interested in a career as a medical laboratory professional at Vitalant? View opportunities to join our team at vitalant.org/careers.