Laboratory Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be fasting for my lab tests?
Fasting is required for some tests. Common tests that require fasting are CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Screening), Fasting Glucose, Glucose Tolerance Tests, Lipid studies (Triglyceride, HDL/LDL), Iron and Iron Binding studies, Insulin and Vitamin levels. For most tests an eight hour fast is long enough, but for Lipid studies, it is best if you fast 12 hours.
When I am fasting, may I drink water?
Yes, when you have fasting lab tests, please drink water. You may brush your teeth, take your medications (unless specifically told by your doctor not to), and even drink non-caloric drinks. Please do not consume anything with calories.
Do I need a doctor's order to get a lab test done?
Yes, your doctor can give you an order to bring in with you or fax an order to either of our facilities. Our fax numbers are 861-6655 or 352-2827.
Do I have to make an appointment?
An appointment is not necessary. The laboratory at MSRMC is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phlebotomy station at MSROC is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We serve our outpatients on a first come, first serve basis.
Can I come directly to the lab to have my blood drawn?
When you come to either MSRMC or MSROC, you will be asked to register prior to your sample being obtained. If you have been to see us recently, and your information (insurance, address, phone number, emergency contact information) is current in the computer system, registration should only take a few minutes. If you are new to us or your information has changed, registration may take a few more minutes. If you are a patient with "standing orders" for recurrent lab work, we have an option for you to register by phone. Please ask one of the laboratory staff on your next visit for information about this.
Why are so many tubes of blood needed?
Though the amount of blood may appear to be a lot, most tubes hold less than one teaspoon. The different colored caps on the tubes indicate what additive is in the tube. These additives are anticoagulants or preservatives. Different tests need to be drawn in different additives.
Can I obtain a copy of my results?
Yes, you may pick up a copy of your results at the laboratory (be prepared to show us a picture ID) or we may mail them to you at the address you supply at the time of registration. To protect your privacy, we will not give lab results over the phone or fax them to a non-secure (personal) fax number. We will ask you to sign a release of information form, so that we have record of disclosure of your results.
When will my doctor get the results?
Your doctor will receive your results as soon as they are complete. For most tests that will be the same day the sample is taken. Some tests, particularly cultures, require several days. Again, these results will fax or print to your doctor's office via our computerized automated fax system when they are complete.
Will you call me if my results are abnormal?
No. Your results will go directly to the physician who ordered them.
Can you tell me what my blood type is?
Your doctor needs to specifically order blood typing to be done. This probably will not be done unless it is medically necessary for your situation. Going to your local blood bank and donating a unit of blood is an easy way to find out what your blood type is.
Blood Bank of Alaska is located at 4000 Laurel Street in Anchorage (222-5600). There is also a donation center in Wasilla at 851 E. Westpoint Drive (376-1195).
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