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Interpreting Laboratory Data

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2012 - Volume 44 - Issue 12 - p 2449
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000423214.91079.1d
Special Communications
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This point-of-reference handbook of laboratory values for pharmacists was developed to accompany Basic Skills in Interpreting Laboratory Data, 4th edition, 2009.

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To provide a practical guide for pharmacy professionals who assess and interpret point-of-care laboratory findings, with the ultimate goal of optimizing patient care.

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Pharmacists and pharmacy students can use this book to interpret laboratory findings and their relation to medication management.

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More than 150 laboratory monographs are alphabetically arranged for quick reference and contain standard reference values and critical laboratories. In a unique feature, each monograph identifies causes of abnormal values, as well as clinical signs and symptoms; these features distinguish this guide and make it practical for use in patient care. Causes of false results are also included, as well as clinical pearls of wisdom in the “additional information” category. For example, in the iron monograph, a caveat explains that serum ferritin may be more useful in identifying iron deficiency anemia, because of false negatives in the iron test.

With 157 easy-to-read quick view charts, representing 100 more than that in the original full-length textbook, one can instantly pinpoint the information needed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of treatment and severity of disease. An index lists common laboratory tests by disease topic (e.g., infectious disease and endocrine disease), and the index allows for quick reference of specific laboratory test information.

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This is a trusted resource designed for use in everyday practice and for making decisions about patient care. Each monograph is concise, organized, and displayed in a chart format that is easy to reference. Laboratory data can be quickly interpreted, allowing for optimization of medication regimens and patient outcomes. The text is written at a level that is appropriate for the intended audience. The objectives are worthy, and this book meets all stated objectives. The index is excellent. Each laboratory monograph is organized, easily accessible, and contains clinically relevant information regarding interpreting common laboratory values.

The authors are professors of pharmacy and thus understand which laboratory variables are pertinent for pharmacists. The guide was developed after market research identified that a concise handbook of laboratory values was warranted for point-of-care use, and it succeeds as a clinically useful guide to laboratory data that can be quickly referenced in a clinic or hospital setting. Because this book is small, it can easily fit into a pharmacist’s laboratory coat or workstation.

RATING: ★★★★★

Reviewed by: Melissa Ranieri, BS PharmD (Temple University School of Pharmacy Philadelphia)

©2012The American College of Sports Medicine