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FOR RELEASE: April 21, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

National Medical Laboratory Week is April 24-30
Laboratory Professionals - The Heart of the Medical Investigation Team

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is recognizing National Medical Laboratory Week, April 24-30, as a time to honor the more than 297,000 medical laboratory professionals across the nation and the many medical laboratory professionals that work in Oklahoma. The OSDH Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory employs more than 30 medical laboratory professionals.

Using state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, lab professionals help to prevent disease by detecting unknown health and environmental problems. They also aid in the diagnosis and treatment of existing conditions and outbreaks by giving accurate and timely test results.

“We are pleased to take this opportunity to recognize laboratory workers for their professionalism and hard work in keeping Oklahomans safe. The public health laboratory is a vital part of the medical investigation team that works on the front line in protecting and detecting threats to the public’s health and safety,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher.

Between July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004, the OSDH Public Health Laboratory examined more than 400,000 specimens for the detection of syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, chlamydia/gonnorhea, rabies, metabolic disease disorders, foodborne outbreaks, West Nile virus, anthrax, systemic fungi, and other infectious agents. General categories tested include:

  • 243,131 laboratory tests performed on blood specimens to identify analytes for chronic or genetic diseases of newborns.
  • 156,084 laboratory examinations performed to detect infectious diseases, e.g., sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, or enteric infections.
  • 1,534 animal brain specimens tested for the presence of rabies.

A more specific breakdown of the tests performed includes the following:

  • Newborn Screening - 243,131
  • Syphilis - 39,428
  • GC/Chlamydia - 67,340
  • Immunology - 34,472
  • Bacteriology - 2,317
  • Enterics - 1,816
  • Parasitology - 355
  • Tuberculosis - 8,601
  • Mycology - 110
  • Virology - 437
  • Rabies - 1,534

Sponsors of National Medical Laboratory Week include the: American Society of Clinical Pathology, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, American Medical Technologists, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, American Society of Cytopathology, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Clinical Laboratory Management Association, College of American Pathologists, and the National Society for Histotechnology.

For more information about National Medical Laboratory Week, check out these Web sites: www.ascp.org/general/labweek or www.aphl.org .

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