The laboratory diagnostics in haematology is of paramount importance. Early detection of anomalies allows for the quick referral of patients with blood diseases to treatment. In this context the special role belongs to the information from microscopic evaluation of peripheral blood smears. The INVICTA Medical Diagnostic Laboratories are among the top Polish centres which for years have been receiving external confirmation of the high quality of tests of this type.

The analysis of peripheral blood smears is recommended if the blood count confirms any abnormality, in case of suspected disease or after its initial diagnosis. This applies above all to patients diagnosed with acute leukaemias, lymphomas, myelodysplastic syndromes and anaemias of various origins. – Being aware of how important the credibility of the results we supply is, for many years we have been participating in international and national external laboratory controls. In case of blood counts we take part in the LabQuality (Finland) and RIQAS (United Kingdom) quality assessment – says Iwona Malinowska, Deputy Head of the INVICTA Medical Laboratories.

Analyses of peripheral blood smears performed by the staff of INVICTA Laboratories have been regularly subjected to independent verification for years. As part of the Nationwide External Quality Assessment Programme, EQAhem, twice in a year a comprehensive study of preparations provided by the organiser is carried out. In addition to providing the correct result, the participation in the project requires that diagnosticians identify the most likely diagnosis and formulate recommendations concerning the potential additional diagnostic tests which would allow the final diagnosis. In order to achieve high grading in this assessment, broad knowledge is required, also in the area of clinical and practical skills.

INVICTA submits itself to controls along with nearly 90 other Polish laboratories consistently belonging among the ten best rated centres. The average level of its results from previous years exceeds 90%. In the most recent control the Laboratory obtained the maximum possible score, i.e. 100%. This confirms the excellent quality of the peripheral blood smear analyses and high competence of diagnosticians who constantly improve their competencies.-In order to check their skills on a regular basis, the laboratory staff, for example, take part in the e-HEMATimage online control organised by the French FCBM Association (Formation Continue en Biologie et Médecine). Within this control, they are given a brief case description together with the results of previous tests and they have to assess the preparation image – adds the INVICTA expert.

The quality of life-saving tests is verified not only in simulated conditions of external controls. The most important confirmation of the reliability and usefulness of the results of diagnostic tests comes from clinicians. – In its daily practice the Laboratory makes many diagnoses of serious diseases, including acute leukaemia in adults and children. If any pathology is found, our staff immediately contacts the treating physicians passing to them the results with a suggestion to held a haematological consultation and perform additional tests. Thanks to the good cooperation with specialists from various health centres and hospitals, the Laboratory often gets positive feedback confirming the correctness of the diagnosis. There are also acknowledgements of the reliability and promptness of action which can save the patient lives – sums up Malinowska.