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BC's Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

BC's Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides oversight and service planning for diagnostic lab services within BC. 

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A memo from the Vancouver Coastal Health Division of Clinical Chemistry

A memorandum from the BC COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee & the Thrombosis Program at Vancouver General Hospital to help guide the screening, diagnosis and management of VITT/TTS. 

A bulletin from Dr. Blake Gilks, Chief Medical Laboratory Officer, Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services:

‎The Ministry of Health recently approved fecal calprotectin testing for BC patients treated with a biologic agent (e.g. adalimumab, infliximab or vedolizumab).  Starting August 15, 2019, fecal calprotectin testing is available for patients who meet this clinical requirement. Fecal calprotectin testing for other clinical indications is not approved at this time, and therefore, is not funded by the Ministry after August 15.

Calprotectin is a protein released from white blood cells during the inflammatory process. Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, have high levels of calprotectin in their stool. Fecal calprotectin is a non-invasive test used to monitor disease status and treatment efficacy. The amount of fecal calprotectin in a stool sample is proportional to the amount of intestinal inflammation; increases and decreases in fecal calprotectin concentration reflect bowel damage and healing, respectively.

Fecal calprotectin testing can be requested using the Standard Outpatient Laboratory Requisition. Only patients receiving biologic agents are eligible for MSP payable testing. Requests for all other clinical indications are patient pay. For more information, please refer to the bulletins below.

Prompted by the introduction of “X” as an option for sex identification on government documents, laboratories across the province collaborated to develop best practice recommendations to meet the needs of our gender diverse patients. This guideline primarily addresses the laboratory registration of patients with the “X” sex identifier, provides a list of tests of interest when monitoring gender transitions, and provides guidance for managing reference ranges for gender-transitioning patients.

As of December 18, 2018, officers of law enforcement agencies who suspect that an individual has been operating a motor vehicle while impaired have the right to demand a blood sample. This laboratory bulletin is intended to provide provincial laboratory medicine leaders with general information and guidance concerning the Criminal Code amendments.

In December 2019, federal regulations for reporting all serious patient harm incidents related to the use of medical devices came into effect. These regulations, referred to as Vanessa’s Law, require hospitals to report these events within thirty days of the event being documented in a hospital. This guideline clarifies the responsibilities of medical laboratories in BC so that they operate in compliance with the law as well as meet the intent of the law, which is to safeguard patient safety. 

This guideline establishes a provincially consistent approach to handling requests from law enforcement officers to obtain laboratory specimens drawn for medical purposes. It is meant to address those instances not covered by the provincial guidelines for medical blood draws (November 2019). 

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SOURCE: BC's Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine ( )
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