Although a medical history and a physical exam can give doctors a lot of information about your child’s condition, in some cases pediatric pathology (lab work) gives a more complete picture of what’s going on inside your child’s body. We provide many different kinds of testing for kids of all ages, from birth to adolescence, in inpatient or outpatient care.
Your child’s doctor may order lab work for any number of reasons:
- to help diagnose an illness or condition
- to monitor an illness
- to determine whether treatment is working
- to see how well your child’s organs are functioning
Commonly performed tests include:
- blood and body fluid tests, including complete blood count; coagulation (blood clotting) testing; blood typing and antibody screening; arterial blood gas tests; blood electrolytes; and chemistries (glucose, protein, etc.) from serum, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and joint fluid
- drug therapy monitoring
- cultures: tests that can identify infection by checking for the growth of bacteria or viruses; antigen tests of the blood, throat, urine, spinal fluid, stool, or wound drainage
- sweat testing to look for evidence of cystic fibrosis
What is Pathology?
The specialty of pathology focuses on analyzing specimens to look for clues about the nature and cause of disease through microscopic changes in cells or tissues.
Our pediatric pathology testing ranges from the routine to the complex:
- evaluation of organ tissue removed during surgery
- evaluation of tissue obtained from biopsy
- other special tests performed on histological specimens such as the demonstration of tissue antigens and gene markers
- genetic and chromosomal analysis
- blood and bone marrow transplant specimen processing
Nemours’ onsite pediatric pathology lab is staffed with highly qualified physicians who are board certified in pathology. They analyze a variety of specimens using the latest in equipment. This technology allows us to get the most accurate results on the smallest sample.
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
The Department of Clinical Lab Services and Pathology (Lab Services) at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children provides many kinds of pediatric pathology tests for children from birth through the teen years.
Most specimens are analyzed in our on-site, state-of-the-art lab 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, typically less than an hour for basic emergency tests.
The Pathology department also serves as the Division of Pediatric Pathology for the Department of Pathology of Jefferson Medical College.
Typical conditions that are evaluated by our pediatric pathologists include:
- gastrointestinal tract and liver disorders
- kidney transplant and other kidney diseases
- bone, joint, and metabolic diseases
- endocrinologic and rheumatic diseases
- leukemia and lymphoma
- solid tissue tumors (such as neuroblastoma)
- liver transplant
Our Pediatric Pathology (Lab) Services
Learn what to expect and the services we have to offer when you bring your child to our Pathology Department at duPont Hospital for Children.
We are highly skilled in collecting pediatric specimens. Our specially trained phlebotomists (technicians who draw blood) are experts at pediatric blood drawing and know how to put a fearful child at ease.
We’ve found that by explaining in an honest, age-appropriate way exactly what’s going to happen, children are better able to tolerate most procedures – and that makes the whole process more comfortable for everyone, including parents. In addition, we use the smallest possible needles to draw blood and collect the least amount necessary to perform the test.
For your convenience, we have an outpatient specimen collection area located near the clinic area. Though blood drawing and other tests are done by appointment, we are frequently able to coordinate your child’s lab visit with another appointment, often on the same day. Our patient service representatives are happy to check if your insurance covers our lab services.
Results are either called to your doctor or reported via our electronic medical record. This allows all doctors involved in your child’s care to stay on top of any new developments. Test results that are concerning are called to the doctor or nurse involved with your child’s care right away.
Results can be available rapidly for some urgent tests such as: those associated with critical care, bone marrow transplant, or cancer patients, as well as children with certain infectious diseases. Other, more-detailed tests such as some types of genetic testing could take longer.
The Blood Bank at the duPont Hospital for Children has several areas of expertise. One is autologous blood donation, which is when blood is collected from a child before a surgical procedure in order for the child to receive his or her own blood back again during or after surgery.
This strategy to decrease the risks of receiving donor blood was pioneered at duPont Hospital for Children in the 1970s for pediatric orthopedic procedures at the hospital.
The Blood Bank also supports the special blood needs of the Nemours Cardiac Center’s program for correcting congenital heart defects in infants and children. Finally, we specialize in preparing stem cells and bone marrow specimens for the hospital’s blood and bone barrow transplant program.