Laboratory Services

Laboratory Services performs specialized tests to help diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases and other health conditions.

Your doctor may request to have a specimen (bodily fluid or tissue sample) sent to the laboratory for testing. The type of test your doctor requests will determine what samples are required, how and when they are collected, and how they will be tested once they arrive at the lab.

Fluid samples such as saliva, blood, and urine are typically collected at the doctor’s office during your medical exam and forwarded to the lab for analysis. Some body tissue must be removed surgically and may require a referral to the hospital.

What if I am asked to collect my own sample?

Depending on the type of sample needed for testing, you may be required to collect your own bodily fluids over a period of time. It is important that you follow the collection instructions properly to ensure your test offers accurate results.

Carefully follow the instructions for the following sample collections:

Where do I take my samples after I finish collecting them?

Drop-off instructions will be clarified in the sample collection instructions. You may be invited to drop them off at your doctor’s office or clinic, or you may be asked to deliver them directly to a laboratory in your community.

Will I have to fast before my blood test?

It will depend on the type of blood test ordered. Your doctor or health care provider will tell you if there are any specific instructions you need to follow before you have your blood test.

For some blood tests, you can eat and drink as normal before the test. In other cases, you will be instructed not to eat or drink before your test. This is called a fasting blood test.

Can I drink water if I am fasting for a laboratory test?

Yes.

Can I take my medication if I am fasting for a laboratory test?

You can take your medications with sips of water unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider. When fasting, you cannot chew gum or smoke.

Why wasn't my sample tested?

The most common reasons a sample cannot be tested are the wrong container was used or the container was not labelled properly. Occasionally, a sample cannot be tested because it was damaged during collection or during transport to the laboratory. Your health care provider receives a report explaining the reason your sample could not be tested.

Do I have to fast for my laboratory test if I am diabetic?

Yes, unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider.

If I have to go to the hospital for blood/specimen collection or drop-off, what will I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring your requisition (completed by your doctor) and a valid PEI Health Card with you. It is recommended that you wear loose clothing that will allow your sleeve to be rolled up past the elbow.

How will I get my test results?

Laboratory Services will send the test results to the ordering physician, and if requested, to another doctor or specialist involved in your care. Contact your doctor’s office to obtain results. Do not contact the lab for test results. 

How long before my doctor gets the results?

This will depend on what tests are ordered. Most routine tests are reported to your doctor within 24 hours. Microbiology and special testing (tests sent out to other labs in other provinces) may take several days or weeks.

Can I get a copy of my lab results?

The laboratory routinely only releases results directly to the ordering doctor. You are encouraged to obtain your test results through consultation with your doctor.

How long will I have to wait to have my blood collected?

Wait times will depend on the location you go to and how busy they are that day (with both drop-in and scheduled collections by appointment). Many of our patients require fasting blood work and arrive early in the morning. If you are not required to fast, you may prefer to come later in the day when wait times are less.

Why do I see patients who arrived after me being taken in for blood collection before me?

It may be because they are returning for a "timed test" which requires them to have their blood collected at a specific time. They may also be sent to have their blood collected “STAT” which means that there is a need to process their sample quickly due to the possible need for immediate/urgent treatment.

Why is my baby's blood tested?

All babies born on Prince Edward Island have a blood test before they are discharged from hospital. Early screening may detect a health issue before your baby presents symptoms. More information is offered in the Newborn Blood Collection brochure [PDF | 1,718 KB].

What is a sweat test?

Your child may be referred to the provincial laboratory at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to collect sweat from their skin. The Sweat Chloride Test is part of a series of tests used to exclude a diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis. The test is not painful and takes about one hour to complete. View the Sweat Chloride Test brochure [PDF | 138 KB] for more information .

What Laboratory Services are offered in PEI?

Health PEI laboratory services are used to examine, diagnose, and monitor disease and other health conditions.

  • Anatomical Pathology
    • Autopsy pathology – examination of the body to determine cause or manner of death
    • Cytopathology – study of cells to detect cancerous or abnormal cells
    • Surgical pathology – examination of body tissue from biopsy or surgery to diagnose disease
  • Blood Transfusion Services – provides blood components and/or products for routine and emergency transfusions for inpatients and outpatients. More information is available in the Blood and Blood Product Transfusion brochure [PDF | 639 KB].
  • Clinical Chemistry – blood, urine, stool, and body fluid analysis to assess organ function and monitor drug or hormone levels.
  • Community-based laboratories – offers laboratory, and blood and specimen collection services in Souris, Montague, O’Leary, and Alberton community hospitals.
  • Hematology – blood and body fluid analysis to identify blood disorders such as leukemia, infections, and anemia; investigate bleeding and coagulation disorders (hemophilia); and monitor patients taking anticoagulants (blood thinners).
  • Immunology – study of disease caused by immune system disorders, either: immunodeficiency or autoimmunity.
  • Microbiology – studies bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites that invade the body and tests effectiveness of antibiotics for treating infection.
  • Point of Care Testing (POCT) – testing performed outside the lab but in close proximity to where a patient is receiving care (eg. INR clinics).
  • Specimen Accessioning – specimens are received, sorted, logged, labelled, and processed for analysis.

What are the hours of operation for Laboratory Services?

Laboratory Services are offered in communities across PEI, refer below for hours of operation.

Charlottetown
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Hours: 7 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Monday to Friday 
Laboratory Services: Blood & Specimen Collection (Ambulatory Care)
                                     Specimen Drop-off (Laboratory Services)

Summerside
Prince County Hospital
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday to Friday
Laboratory Services: Blood Collection (appointment required)
                                     
Specimen Drop-off     

Souris
Souris Hospital
Hours: 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
Laboratory Services: Blood & Specimen Collection / Drop-off     

Montague
Kings County Memorial Hospital
Hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday
Laboratory Services: Blood & Specimen Collection / Drop-off     

O'Leary
Community Hospital
Hours:  8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
Laboratory Services: Blood & Specimen Collection / Drop-off    

Alberton
Western Hospital
Hours: 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
Laboratory Services: Blood & Specimen Collection / Drop-off     

How do I contact Laboratory Services?

Charlottetown
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
60 Riverside Drive
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 8T5

Telephone:  (902) 894-2300

Summerside
Prince County Hospital
65 Roy Boates Avenue
Summerside, PE   C1N 2A9

Telephone:  (902) 438-4280

Souris
Souris Hospital
17 Knights Avenue
Souris, PE   C0A 2B0

Telephone:  (902) 687-7150

Montague

Kings County Memorial Hospital
409 MacIntyre Avenue
Montague, PE   C0A 1R0

Telephone:  (902) 838-0777

O’Leary
Community Hospital
14 MacKinnon Drive
O'Leary, PE   C0B 1V0

Telephone:  (902) 859-8700

Alberton
Western Hospital
148 Poplar Street
Alberton, PE   C0B 1B0

Telephone:  (902) 853-8650

 

Published date: 
November 23, 2016
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Health PEI
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PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-6130
Fax: (902) 368-6136

healthpei@gov.pe.ca

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