Charles Taylor is just one of many patients who has had his blood drawn without ever leaving his truck. He uses the convenient in-car services offered at the outpatient collection site of Atrium Medical Center on Grand Avenue in Middletown.
Charles is 75 years old, has some vision problems, and has difficulty walking. His son drives him to the lab site. Charles is on a blood thinner medication which is regulated by his primary care physician.
“Every year, the lab gives me a card with all my information on it. I just hand my card to Nancy Smith, my technician, and she draws my blood right there at the curb,” said Charles. “She’s always personable, friendly, and very skilled at what she does.”
Once his blood is drawn and tested, Atrium Lab Services sends the results to Charles’ physician, Dr. Grau, in Springboro. The doctor then calls him with the results.
“I’ve been using the curb service for four years,” Charles explained. “It’s convenient, easy, and in no time at all, the blood draw is over and off I go.”
Middletown resident Ginny Simonson also uses the convenience of the Grand Avenue site for her blood draws. Her cardiologist has her on Coumadin® (warfarin), a blood thinner used to treat certain medical problems usually associated with the heart, blood vessels, lungs, and brain. The dosage and administration of Coumadin® must be individualized for each patient. In order to determine a particular patient's dosage, the lab must calculate his or her Prothrombin Time (PT) and International Normalization Ration (INR) response to the drug.
To do so, the lab derives the correct PT, then calculates a standardizing ratio to derive a value called the INR. Once the proper level of anti-coagulation is attained, the testing is ordered less frequently but on a regular basis. Because the smallest changes in diet or an infection can alter the way that each person metabolizes Coumadin®, blood levels need to be checked often, usually on a weekly to monthly basis.
“The lab is a wonderful place,” said Ginny. “It’s only two minutes from my house and has easy parking. I walk right in and never have to wait more than five minutes.”
Ginny often takes magazines and cookies into the lab. She said everyone there is a friend, especially the phlebotomist Nancy Smith, who she’s known for years.
“Nancy is caring, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and compassionate,” said Ginny. “I’ve been stuck by her for many, many years!”
“I always have a good experience there,” Ginny explained. “The whole staff is extremely professional and I would definitely refer anyone to the Atrium Lab Services.”