February 8, 2007

Less than half of the clinical laboratory professionals surveyed recently think their lab could effectively respond in a hazardous chemical emergency.

The survey found that only 35% of the laboratories had a written protocol for collection of specimens from patients suspected of exposure to chemical agents and 1 in 5 were familiar with patient laboratory test results correlating with exposure to chemical warfare agents and had quick chemical warfare reference guides available in the laboratory.

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), in response to the survey it conducted with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will launch a series of online training courses in March 2007 to help clinical labs prepare for a hazardous chemical event – from a train derailment to an attack.

ASCP polled thousands of medical lab directors, assistant medical lab directors, administrative lab directors, section heads, and managers between Aug 17, 2005 and Nov 14, 2005.

More information can be found on the organization’s Web site.