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Critical Values for PTT

Here is a message sent on Monday, May 11, 2009 from Emily Oakley:

With minimal staffing, I am trying to cut down on the number of phone calls placed to unit staff. In your lab, do you have two PTT critical values, one for heparinized patients, and one for non-heparin patients such as pre-admits or emergency department patients? At what point do the physicians have to take responsibility for looking at the results of the tests they have ordered?

Hi, Emily. Sorry to be a little slow posting your question. We have only one critical value for PTT, as we seldom know whether the patient is heparinized. I’d like to get messages from others regarding their policies.

We typically phone the unit or physician’s office personnel and ensure a positive communication. If we are looking for a physician response such as a reflex test, we typically ask our pathology resident on call to follow up. I’ll be eager to learn what others do. Geo

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