home » pathology and laboratory medicine

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


  • General Enquiries + 353 1 2214590
  • Director of Pathology: Dr David Gibbons
  • Laboratory Manager: Mr Donal Murphy

The Pathology Department provides a diagnostic and consultative service for St. Vincent's University Hospital, General Practitioners and other hospitals in the region. It also provides a regional and national referral centre for specialised tests.

Pathology Opening Hours:

  • 8am - 8pm - Monday to Friday

The laboratory provides an 'on-call' service for urgent specimens outside the normal working hours.

Pathology Reception

Pathology Reception is located in the Ambulatory Day Care Centre on the ground floor of the new 5 storey clinical building.

  • Patients and General Practitioners should deliver specimens to Pathology Reception between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday.
  • Couriers should deliver specimens to Pathology Reception
  • Specimens should not be delivered outside opening hours without prior arrangement.

Phlebotomy Service

Phlebotomy is located in the new Ambulatory Day Care Centre and is signposted from the entrance. The phlebotomy service for Anticoagulant Monitoring is located in the Herbert Wing of the Hospital (formally St. Vincent's Private Hospital)

  • Patients referred by General Practitioners can access the phlebotomy service from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday by appointment only. Please phone 1890-253184 to make appointments.
  • Out patients referred from clinics can access phlebotomy from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Thursday and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.
  • Your General Practitioner will inform you if you are required to fast before your blood test. If you are fasting please come to phlebotomy as early as possible.
  • A phlebotomy service is also available in the Consultants Private Clinic at St Vincent's Private Hospital. This service is available for private referrals.
  • Access to the service is restricted to patients who are 14 years of age or older.

Anticoagulant Monitoring Service

The Haematology Department runs an Anticoagulant Monitoring Service for patients taking oral anticoagulants (mainly Warfarin). The service is a monitoring service not a clinic. The service monitors patients' INR blood tests, advises on the dose of Warfarin to take and when to return for the next blood test. A doctor does not see patients at any stage. The patient remains the responsibility of his/her referring consultant or G.P. whom the patient is advised to contact if s/he has any problems.

The service must receive a completed Anticoagulant Monitoring Service Referral Form from a doctor before a patient is accepted to the service.

Patients of the service attend Phlebotomy in the 'old outpatients' area between 08.00 am and 11.00 am on their appointed day and have their blood taken. The patients can then go home.

The blood is tested and the results printed on a yellow form along with the dose of tablets to take (in mgs) and the date of the next blood test. This form is sent out in the post that afternoon. Patients are advised if they have not received their blood result within two working days to contact the service. Patients with significantly abnormal results are contacted by phone.

All patients are advised if they have any bleeding, excessive bruising or are unwell they should see their doctor or attend their local Emergency Department (SVUH ED Phone: 01-2214358) immediately.

Any queries regarding the Anticoagulant Monitoring Service please phone 01-2214153.

Information for General Practitioners

  • The laboratory can be contacted if there are any queries regarding patient preparation, test choice, results or clinical interpretation.
  • Patients should be instructed to fast prior to blood test where appropriate.
  • Clinical details are essential for interpreting results and determining additional testing. Please supply as much clinical information as possible.
  • Because of the labile nature of many of the components measured in the laboratory, it is essential to deliver the samples to the laboratory as speedily as possible.
  • Samples for General Clinical Chemistry must arrive in the laboratory within 4 hours of sampling.

Request Forms

  • Please use the St Vincent's University Hospital GP request form, this will minimise transcription of requests for the various laboratories. Blank request forms are available from Pathology Reception.
  • Please complete the request form and ensure that details are correct and legible on all pages of the form. If using labels or stamp, please ensure it is placed on each page.
  • The request form allows for the provision of the following details:
    • Patient's surname, forename, date of birth, gender, title and address.
    • Hospital Number if appropriate.
    • Date and time of specimen collection.
    • Type of specimen collected or, if appropriate, anatomical site of origin.
    • Analysis required.
    • Relevant clinical details.
    • Location to where the results should be reported.
    • Name of the Requesting Clinician.
  • A separate sample is required for each analytical category, but not for a group of tests or profiles within a category.
  • Details of sample requirements can be found on the reverse of the GP Request form

Labelling of Samples

  • All specimen containers must be clearly labelled.
  • The labelling should include the patients:
    • Surname and forename.
    • Date of Birth.
    • Date and time of specimen collection. Specimens which are received in the laboratory unlabelled, are not acceptable for analysis.
  • Specimens with inadequate labelling or specimen details that do not adequately match those on the accompanying request form may not be analysed

Access to Pathology Reports

  • The results of laboratory tests will be made available to patients through their Clinicians or General Practitioners and not directly from the laboratory.
  • The results of routine examinations are normally available within 24hours. More specialised investigations may take longer.
  • Results are posted to external General Practitioners and Hospitals every afternoon Monday to Friday.
  • It is the policy of the Pathology Department to telephone the requesting clinician with all urgent or abnormal results (subject to defined criteria within each laboratory).