Atrium Health Navicent Children's Care Downtown Macon, a Facility of Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center

On site lab and diagnostics

Doctor listens to a young boy's heart

A Review of Popular Onsite Lab and Diagnostics Services

Treatment can only be effective after the cause of an illness has been detected. However, prognosis can only be possible if the health practitioner unravels the real cause of a disease. The terms diagnosis and laboratory testing imply the same thing though they are slightly different. Diagnosis may sometimes rely on empirical analysis while lab testing involves actively going to the lab to study a sample. There are several onsite lab and diagnostic procedures for children. These include urinalysis, radiology, bone density testing, and anatomical pathology.


This is a common lab test conducted on children. Urinalysis involves a number of urine tests to establish the presence of diseases. The aim of this test is to diagnose disorders such as liver ailments, diabetes, urinary tract infection and kidney disorders. Several other metabolic conditions can also be detected through a urine test.

This test involves several microscopic, visual, and chemical examinations whose purpose is the detection of cells or foreign substance in a patient's urine. The foreign substances are usually associated with the disorders. A urinalysis report can give a physician an idea about the kind of illness that he or she is faced with. This gives room for follow up investigations and further testing. Urinalysis is often done in combination with other types of tests including urine albumin. This paves way for follow-up treatment.

General Ultrasound

Ultrasounds utilizes sound waves, which are used to produce images of inner body organs. This diagnostic procedure is used to diagnose the cause of body pain, swelling, or infection by studying internal organs. Children are susceptible to internal injuries in the course of their daily activities. Regular ultrasound can go a long way in helping physicians to establish undetected internal injuries.

This diagnostic procedure has the advantage of being easily available in most medical facilities. Besides this, children who undergo it do not feel any pain. It is also relatively safer than other procedures. To detect any swellings or internal injuries in children, ultrasound get is applied on the area that is under probe before a transducer is passed over it. Images are captured and relayed onto a screen. These often real-time images capture the movement of internal body organs at that particular time.


This onsite medical diagnostic procedure shares similarities with ultrasound. This is because the two capture the condition of inner body organs. Radiology uses a special imaging technology to diagnose and subsequently treat diseases affecting various body organs. The most common radiology procedure is x-ray imaging. This implies the transmission of x-rays through the body of a patient. Due to their rough nature, kids may for instance experience fractures. It is quite difficult for the naked eye to establish the exact position of a sprain. X-rays are often passed through such organs to establish exactly where the sprain is. This makes treatment more effective.

Bone Density Testing

As children grow up, their bone density must be tested from time to time. This onsite laboratory test enables practitioners to gauge if a child's development is healthy, and any minerals that they might be lacking. More often than less, bone density tests are carried out to establish the presence of osteoporosis among kids. This is a common disease, which if not detected early causes severe weakening of the bones.

In the past, this condition used to be detected after kids broke their bones. Bone density testing has however made early detection possible. When carrying out the procedure, electromagnetic rays are usually used to determine the level of calcium and other important components of the bone structure. In most cases, health practitioners test bones found in the hip, forehead, and spine.

Parents should consider bone density testing if their kids have stunted growth or lose height. Whenever kids fracture their bones, it is similarly significant to determine whether the fracture resulted from natural causes or low bone density. Long-term use of certain types of drugs such as prednisone ought to be followed by a bone density test since such medications interfere with the normal bone development process among children.

Clinical Pathology

This is a highly specialized and technical onsite lab procedure. It is based on the diagnosis of diseases through the microscopic, macroscopic, immunological, molecular, and biochemical examination of body organs and tissues. Modern forms of clinical pathology involve the processing and examination of surgical specimen by trained physicians. The procedure is used to determine blood cell counts. Besides this, it is used in blood glucose determination, throat culture, and coagulation studies.

Clinical pathology in children involves other processes such as gross examination, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and cytogenetic testing. The latter is quite popular among pediatric specialists who use it to identify hereditary genetic effects like chromosomal translocation. DNA testing, this is common among children whose paternity is being contested, lies under the general field of clinical pathology.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

This diagnostic test is used to detect problems in the electrical motion of children's hearts. The test is used to determine the electrical activity of the heart by trailing the movements on a graph paper. This ultimately helps pediatrics to unravel the exact cause of sudden chest pains or pressure. Due to changes in the lifestyles, young children are now susceptible to common diseases such as heart attacks. An electrocardiogram test can be used to detect such conditions early. These diagnostic tests can similarly be used to establish the seriousness of common symptoms of heart diseases such as dizziness and irregular heartbeats. The test can also help heart specialists to establish the effectiveness of heart implants such as pacemakers.