Clinical biochemistry

Clinical biochemistry is concerned with changes in the composition of blood and other body fluids. It is a clinical, consultant-led, patient-focused speciality which operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We provide rapid analytical results of high quality, interpret the significance of the data obtained and advise on whether further investigations are needed. Chemical pathologists, clinical biochemists, biomedical scientists and biomedical support workers are all involved in providing the clinical biochemical service and ensuring the information gained is accurate, timely, relevant and correctly interpreted.

There are several sections with clinical biochemistry at Southampton General Hospital:

  • Automated chemical pathology – state of the art analysers measure samples from patients in the hospital and community e.g. renal, bone, liver and heart function
  • Forensic toxicology – range of methods used to analyse mainly post mortem samples e.g. for drug and alcohol content
  • Manual – variety of techniques and analysers used to measure a range of metabolites e.g. HbA1c levels of known diabetics.
  • Chromatography – chromatographic techniques are used to diagnose and monitor patients for diseases e.g. neuroblastoma
  • Specialist biochemistry – analysers and manual techniques such as electrophoresis, radioimmunometric and DELFIA assays are used to investigate patients for many disorders e.g. congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Trace elements – advanced techniques such as flame photometry used to determine levels of micronutrients e.g. copper
  • Critical care laboratory – maintain and monitor point of care analysers e.g. blood gas analysers