The Hematology section provides a 24 hour-a-day service for complete blood counts (230 per day), coagulation testing (approximately 50 per day) and bone marrow investigations.
An important field of investigation in this section is haemoglobin electropheresis, especially for sickle cell disease, also the haemoglobinopathies for thalassemia, which is a common disease in the Saudi population. Malaria and G6PD-deficiency are two important tests that are routinely performed.
The complete blood counts are fully automated, performed on two Coulter Gen-S analyzers. This blood count includes a five part differential. With abnormal cases, manual blood films are made, these are stained with an Ames automated slide stainer. Reticulocyte counts are also performed.
For coagulation the following are performed: prothrombin time, partial prothrombin time, fibrinogen degradation products, fibrinogen and factor assays.
Bone marrow investigations are required on all leukemic patients. A bone marrow aspirate, with a clot sample and a trephine biopsy are reported. If necessary special stains are performed to help in the diagnosis, including peroxidase, sudan black, esterases and PAS.