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BUN results may be off for tests from March 6 and 7

26 Mar 2023

Variance seen in Salem Health Laboratory Building A

By: Amanda Jacobson, senior laboratory specialist, chemistry, Andrew Judd, MD, laboratory services medical director, and Karl Kamper, laboratory services director

As part of routine quality monitoring, Salem Health Laboratories has identified a variance affecting BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) results for patients who had testing at the Salem Health Laboratory – Building A (also known as the priority lab) on Monday, March 6, and Tuesday, March 7.

The laboratory retested a representative sample of patient specimens from the affected time period.  Comparison of original results with those retested showed that the retested samples had an average upward shift of 8 mg/dL. In some cases, this is clinically significant. Upon consultation with the laboratory medical director, corrected results will not be issued. 

The variance occurred at Salem Health Laboratory – Building A, which serves primarily inpatients. Most outpatients, even if their specimen collection was performed on the Salem Hospital campus, are tested at the Salem Health Laboratory – State Street (also known as the regional lab), and are therefore not affected.

Salem Health Laboratories is committed to providing quality results and repeat testing is available by April 1 if you feel one of your patients was affected by this issue. Repeat testing must be completed on a newly-collected sample, and will be performed, once, at no cost to the patient.

If you have a patient that you would like to be retested, please contact Client Services at 503-814-LABS (5227). A client service representative will facilitate the retesting of patients. Please do not order repeat testing in EPIC or through any other electronic or manual requisition process. No-charge testing can only be accessed by calling client services directly and is available until Saturday, April 1.

Questions? Contact Andrew Judd, MD, at 503-561-5113, Karl Kamper at 503-814-3128 or Amanda Jacobson at 503-814-1632.