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Outpatient laboratory

Outpatient lab roomCook Children's Dodson Outpatient Laboratory specializes in pediatric phlebotomy and is dedicated to making your child's experience as comfortable as possible.

Our team of lab assistants are trained and experienced in pediatric phlebotomy techniques and pain management.

Child Life specialists are available to talk to your child and explain the procedure in age appropriate language.

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Pain management

Laboratory procedures can be scary for a child. Our dedicated lab assistants are well trained in pediatric phlebotomy techniques and are skilled in handling the special needs of children. We manage your child's pain by using a variety of age appropriate methods and practices. Child Life specialists work in the outpatient laboratory to prepare and support patients before, during and after the blood collection procedure. They explain everything in age appropriate language, encourage positive coping, and provide distraction and emotional support. Child Life specialists utilize various tools to aid in the overall success of the procedure, including medical play and visual aids.

How Do We Handle Your Child’s Pain?

SucroseSucrose
Sucrose promotes the release of endorphins, the body’s own natural painkillers. The action of sucking on a pacifier is also believed to potentiate the effect of sucrose. Infants less than six months of age, who qualify, may receive sucrose analgesia prior to painful procedures.

BuzzyCold vibration device (BUZZY®)
The cold vibration device (BUZZY®) incorporates a cold pack with a vibrating mechanism which confuses the nerves at the site where the pain occurs and distracts attention away from the needle stick.

* Contraindications: The cold pack should not be used on patients under 2, patients with Sickle Cell, or patients with cold sensitivity such as Raynaud’s Syndrome.

Cold sprayTopical anesthetic skin refrigerant
This method of pain relief uses a topical aerosol anesthetic refrigerant that quickly numbs the area of skin and lessens the pain of the needle stick.

Topical CreamTopical anesthetic cream
Families can obtain a prescription from their physician for an anesthetic topical cream.  Lab assistants are not allowed to apply the cream but the clinic nurse or parent can perform the application.

DistractionDistractions
We offer a variety of age appropriate distractions including:
Bubbles, I Spy books, iPad, toys, etc.

Phlebotomy procedures

Heel Stick

For infants under a year, when only a small amount of blood is needed, the lab assistant can perform a heel stick.  The heel is warmed with a special gel pouch and then pricked with a special heel stick device.  The heel is squeezed gently and blood is collected into small special tubes to be sent to the laboratory for testing.

Finger Stick

For children at least a year old, when only a small amount of blood is needed, the lab assistant can perform a finger stick.  The finger is warmed with a special gel pouch and then pricked with a special finger stick device. The finger is squeezed gently and blood is collected into small tubes to be sent to the laboratory for testing.

Venipuncture

When more blood is required for testing than can be obtained from a finger stick or heel stick, a venipuncture may be required. A small specialized needle called a butterfly needle is used to withdraw blood from a vein.  The veins most commonly used for venipuncture are in the bend of the arm near the elbow or in the hand.  Blood is collected into a syringe or drawn directly into a special tube.  Your child's blood is then sent to the laboratory to be tested.

Glucose tolerance tests

Glucose Tolerance Testing is performed in the Dodson Outpatient Lab but requires an appointment.  Testing is performed Monday – Friday at 7:00 am.  To make an appointment, please call 682-885-1095 Monday – Friday during our regular business hours of 7:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Important things to know when coming for a glucose tolerance test:

Sweat tests

Sweat Chloride Testing can be performed in the Dodson Outpatient Lab and requires an appointment.  Testing can be scheduled for Monday – Friday at 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 2:00 pm.  To make an appointment, please call 682-885-1095 Monday – Friday during our regular business hours of 7:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Sweat Chloride testing has been used for diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis (CF) for more than 50 years and remains the gold standard. For more information, please request an information sheet from our staff or talk to your physician.

Important things to know before coming for a Sweat Chloride Test:

Specimen drop-offs

You may drop off urine and stool specimens you collect at home.  Make sure your specimens are labeled with Patient Name, Date of Birth, Date of Collection, Time of Collection and Name of Person who collected specimen.  Specimens can be dropped off from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Dodson Outpatient Laboratory.  If you need to drop off specimens at any other time, you will need to go to the Cook Children's Emergency Department.  Someone from that area will call the lab to come down to check your specimen(s) and ensure all requirements are met for collection, storage, transportation and labeling. You will need to bring your order for testing with you.  If you have a Quest or LabCorp order, you can also drop your specimen off at any of their locations near you. 

Find a drop off location near you:

For further questions concerning Cook Children's Outpatient Laboratory, click here to review our FAQ.

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