Can anyone tell us how long you usually have to wait to obtain blood work results? We used to get them the same day, often within an hour or two, of the lab visit. However, lately we are waiting up to 24 hours or more, and often only get a call back after a couple of calls made by us. Sometimes the platelet count influences our family activities and travel plans, not to mention that we also have to discuss potential treatment options, and I feel like they could be doing a better job of communicating with us. Can anyone advise on what is reasonable? Thanks.
Although a lab can process a specimen in a matter of minutes, from the time you give that specimen until you hear/see the results can take days. If your results are released to you directly by the lab doing the work (e.g.: via a web portal or EHR), you may get them within a day. If your results have to be reviewed by a physician first, then it may take several days, and in some cases, you have to call them to find out.
I agree about the communication issues and planning. I'm currently helping my mother with her treatment for pancreatic cancer. We are routinely calling the offices of her doctors, looking up results online and getting them well ahead of the treatment team, and finding errors (even egregious ones) in her lab work or even discovering that no one told her about important issues.
Perhaps you can talk to the practice manager at your doctor's facility and arrange to have direct access to your blood work results. I've had some success with that approach.
There are variables involved sometimes: where and when it is drawn and how low the platelet count is. My daughter was having counts done at least monthly, usually at the outside lab our insurance contracts with (it is 10 mins from our house and parking is easy with basically no wait, hospital lab in 20+ mins, tougher parking and sometimes a wait to sign in). When her platelets are very low (she spent 6 months <10) the doctor was notified by the next morning and would contact me that same day. If she has a doctors appointment she has her lab work drawn the day before. She had to be treated for symptoms and now is on Promacta - I can tell her platelets are not critically low if I have to call the office for results and they don't get right back to me. The few times she had problems and the blood was drawn at the hospital based office we had results back within an hour. Reference labs also do not preform the tests as quickly as the hospital, depending if it is run STAT. And low results need to be manually checked.
This thread is making me laugh. Back in the days when I got Dougie's count regularly at the local hospital, I used to get a typewritten letter a few weeks later. About as much use as a chocolate teaspoon!!! Eventually I made friends with the nurse in charge and I would phone her next day to get the result.
Now he gets his count every six months and I just assume it's around 20 in between.
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