Cayuga Medical Center

In-Home Blood Draws Deliver Phlebotomy Services to Patients

Posted by  //  February 18, 2019  //  Local Business

Isabella Carter of Cortland has her Coumadin levels checked every few weeks to make certain the anticoagulant medication is at the proper levels in her bloodstream. Getting the proper dosage of the blood-thinning drug is complicated: Too much Coumadin puts Isabella at risk for bruising and hemorrhaging, and too little puts her at risk of developing blood clots. Some foods and medications interact with the drug that may enhance or reduce the medication’s anticoagulation effect.

Following a heart episode in 2012, Isabella, who is now 90, had surgery to implant a pacemaker that keeps her heart beating in proper rhythm. After the surgery, Isabella’s physician prescribed Coumadin and began close monitoring to make sure the medication’s dosage was correct.

Isabella had depended on a friend for the drive to her physician’s office for regular blood draws. When her friend’s health worsened, Isabella needed to find an alternative way of getting her blood tested. She explained the problem to her Cortland family medicine physician, Lynn Cunningham, MD, who recommended an in-home service for blood draws offered by Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory. The service makes 10 patient visits each weekday.

Every few weeks, a lab assistant arrives to see Isabella at her apartment, which overlooks the historic Cortland County Courthouse.

“The lab people are all so nice and professional,” Isabella says. “Having them come to me for the blood test makes this so convenient. And, it is not easy when you’re 90 getting around in the winter.”

The Home Phlebotomy Service has been operating for more than 20 years. It’s designed for patients who require blood work, but who are unable to travel to one of Cayuga Medical

Center Laboratory’s patient service centers locations in Ithaca, Dryden, Cortland, and Schuyler Hospital in Montour Falls. On-site phlebotomy services are also provided for nursing home residents in Cortland, Tompkins, and Schuyler counties.

The blood and specimen samples are tested at Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory, which operates the most advanced laboratory technology in the region. Results are usually available the same day as the blood draw, and in urgent cases rapid results can be arranged.

“The Home Phlebotomy Service is particularly useful for oncology patients who may be immune-compromised and need to reduce their exposure to germs outside the home,” says Brian Porter, Laboratory Outreach Supervisor. “Joint replacement patients who are homebound use the service, as well as those with disabilities who have trouble getting around.”

To use this service, contact your doctor’s office and ask if they can make arrangements for you to have home phlebotomy services.

Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory

The full-service Laboratory at Cayuga Medical Center provides all major areas of clinical laboratory testing, including chemistry, special chemistry, cytology, molecular microbiology, pathology, urinalysis, hematology, coagulation, and blood banking.

The Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory is accredited by The Joint Commission, the world’s leading health-care accrediting body, which is responsible for setting national patient-care standards. The lab works in collaboration with the Mayo Medical Laboratories, which serves as the official reference laboratory for Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory as well as 4,000 other hospitals and laboratories in more than 60 countries.

For more information on the Home Phlebotomy Service and Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory, call (607) 274-4474.

 

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