Examinations Carried Out At The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Biology Essay


Each lab executes tests on the bodys tissue to obtain information from the cell. The tissues encompass the cells which comprise of organelles and furthermore; into macromolecules. For Instance, when the tissues are impaired it is then analyzed.

Cytopathology refers to the branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses disease on the cellular level. A common application of cytopathology is the Pap smear, used as a screening tool, to identify precancerous cervical lesions and prevent cervical cancer. Cytopathology is frequently called cytology, which means "the study of cells. The cytotechnologists prepare gynaecological and non-gynaecological samples to test for precancerous or cancerous conditions.

A pap smear is an inspection of the woman's cervix to see if she has cancer of the cervix or any Changes that puts her at risk for developing cervical cancer later. The test was invented by and named after the prominent Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou. There are two types of methods used to obtain the specimen, the endocervical brush/spatula protocol and the broom like device protocol.

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In The brush/Spatula Protocol, a small sample from the ectocervix is obtained using a spatula; thereafter the spatula is rinsed in a PreservCyt solution vial by swirling vigorously in the vial 10 times, and then discarded of. Then, an adequate sample from the endocervix is obtained using an endocervical brush. The brush is then inserted into the cervix until the bottommost fibers are exposed. Gradually and slowly, the brush is rotated to a quarter or a half turn in one direction. Care is taken in ensuring that the brush is not over rotated. The brush is then rinsed and discarded of in the same manner of the spatula. Moreover, the cap is tightened so that the torque line on the cap passes the torque line on the vial. Eventually, the patients ID number is recorded on the vial while the medical history and information is documented on the cytology requisition form. Finally the vial and requisition is placed in a bag and transported to the laboratory.

When performing the Broom like device protocol, an adequate amount of sampling from the cervix is obtained. This is achieved by inserting the central bristle of the broom into the endocervical canal deep enough to allow the shorter bristles to fully contact the ectocervix. The broom is then pushed gently and rotated in a clockwise direction five times. Thereafter the broom is then rinsed into the bottom of the PreservCyt solution vial by pushing the broom into the bottom of the vial 10 times forcing the bristles apart. As a final step the broom is sw b rled cvigorously to further release material, and the collection device discarded of. Care is taken not to leave the broom head in the vial. Thereafter, the cap is tightened, recorded and placed in the same manner as the endocervical brush/spatula protocol.

Recent advancements in the field of Cytology have extended to the detection of cancers from other parts of the body rather than the genital tract. These specimens can be found in places accessible by a fine needle E.g. breast aspirates, pleural (lungs) fluids, peritoneal (abdominal cavity) fluids and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid).


Histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of tissues affected by diseases. Usually, the specimen is observed by a pathologist, after the specimen has been processed and placed onto glass slides.

The process begins with tissues being removed from the body and then placed in a fixative buffered with sodium hydrogen phosphate which stabilizes the tissues to prevent decay. The most common fixative is formalin. Thereafter, the samples are transferred to a cartridge (container designed to allow reagents to act on the tissue); multiple baths are prepared and the cartridge immerse into. The baths dehydrates the tissue because of being concentrated with ethanol, followed by toluene/xylene, and finally exceedingly hot paraffin. This process takes about 12 to 16 hours; at this point in time the paraffin will replace the water turning the tissues moist.

The processed tissue is then taken out of the cartridge and set in a mould. Eventually, through a process of embedding supplementary paraffin is added to create a paraffin block. The use of a microtome allows for the tissues to be very thin (2 - 7 micrometer) which facilitates for microscopic examination. Finally the slices are layered on a glass for staining, a combination of hematoxylin and eosin is used in the process. Hematoxylin is used to stain nuclei blue, while eosin stains cytoplasm and the extracellular connective tissue matrix pink. The slices are then mounted and put on a slide.

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Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes in living organisms in particular the chemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. It deals with the structure and function of cellular components e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and other biomolecules. Other areas of biochemistry include the genetic code (DNA, RNA), protein synthesis, cell membrane transport, and signal transduction.

This department subdivides into 3 categories; data entry, analysis the modular bench and modulation. The data entry records the name of the patient, age blood type etc. The tissues are then placed into a machine and prepared for analysis; at this point the patient's hormone level is registered. Thereafter, the molecular levels of substances in the laboratory are analyzed. Finally, after the above procedure, the biochemist reviews the results to confirm any inaccuracies, if any is found it is corrected by repeating the process


Microbiology is the study of microorganisms which are unicellular . This comprises eukaryotes such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes. Viruses, though not strictly classed as living organisms, are also studied. Microbiology is a term which includes virology, mycology, parasitology, bacteriology and other branches. The swine flu virus is not tested in Barbados since no virology lab is present; instead the samples are transported to Trinadad and Tobago to be tested.

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital the Bacteriology Lab is only one present in this sector. In this lab the bacterial species are classified and characterized on their properties or morphology, temperature requirement and nutrient medium required for growth. In addition, differences in cell components such as DNA, fatty acids, and antigens can also classify bacteria. The bacterial specimen is heated by sterilizing and finally the bacterium is categorized on the effects towards the body which contributes to the diagnosis.


Hematology is concerned with the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases. Blood diseases affect the production of blood and its components, such as blood cells, hemoglobin, blood proteins, the mechanism of coagulation, etc. Hematologist routine work primarily includes the care and management of patients with hematological diseases, although some may also work at the hematology laboratory screening blood films and bone marrow slides under the microscope. In a clinical laboratory the hematology department performs numerous different tests on blood. The most commonly performed test is the complete blood count also called full blood count.


Immunohematology is a branch of hematology which studies antigen-antibody reactions and as they relate to the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of blood disorders. Immunohematologist daily duties include blood typing, cross-matching and antibody identification. A blood type is a classification is based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the exterior of red blood cells (RBCs). Several of these red Blood types are inherited and represent contributions from both parents.

Persons that have A blood type has antigens on the surface of the red blood cell and antibodies in the blood plasma; for B blood types it is the opposite (vice versa). A person is said to have a AB blood type when both A and B antigens are found in the red blood cells surface and not in the plasma. With regards to blood type O, the person has neither A nor B antigens on the surface but both antigens in the blood plasma. Besides this blood grouping, it is described by the Rh factor on the surface of the red blood cells. Given that a person possesses this antigen, he or she is said to be Rh+ while the lack of this antigen is described as Rh-.

During the visit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital the the immunohematologist utilized trays with cubicles called A B and D wells To test a sample of blood to see the type of blood group it belongs to three different reagents are used for the three different antibodies A, B and Rh. Since the well contained the corresponding reagent in advance, the blood was placed in each well and the results observed. if agglutination occurs it indicates that a hypersensitivity reaction occurred and therefore not compatible with the blood. If no reaction is observed the antigen binding the antibody is absent from the blood. In this manner the patient's blood type is determined E.g. AB+.

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Cross-matching blood refers to testing that is performed before a blood transfusion, to determine if the donor's blood is compatible with the blood of an intended recipient. Blood compatibility has many aspects, and is determined not only by the blood types (O,A,B,AB), but also by blood factors, (Rh, etc.)


Serology is the scientific study of blood serum or more specifically the identification of antibodies in the serum. Such antibodies are typically formed in response to an infection against other foreign macromolecules.

If a person is exposed to a foreign blood group, the immune system will produce antibodies that can specifically bind to that particular blood group antigen, memory cells against that antigen is formed. These antibodies can bind to antigens on the surface of transfused red blood cells often leading to destruction of the cells. When IgM antibodies bind to the transfused cells, the transfused cells can clump. Transfusion reactions involving minor antigens or weak antibodies may lead to minor problems. However, more serious incompatibilities can lead to a more vigorous immune response with massive RBC destruction, low blood pressure, and even death.