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Important lab update: Blood urea nitrogen variance addressed

01 Mar 2020

Repeat testing offered for BUN results through March 31

By: Daryl Vogel, MD, laboratory services medical director and Karl Kamper, laboratory services director

As part of routine quality monitoring, we have identified a variance affecting blood urea nitrogen results for patients who had testing at the Salem Hospital Priority Lab between Nov. 19, 2019 and Jan. 30, 2020. 

While the variance exceeds our acceptable limits, it did not clinically affect patient results.

The laboratory retested a representative sample of patient specimens from the affected time period.  Comparison of original results with those retested did not demonstrate a clinically significant change.  There were no changes the clinical interpretation and no change in relationship to normal reference ranges. No new values were identified as abnormal (high or low) during our investigation into the patient impact. Corrected results will not be issued.  

The variance occurred at the Salem Health Priority Lab, which mainly serves inpatients. Most outpatients, even if their specimen collection was performed on the Salem Hospital Campus, are tested at the Salem Health Regional Lab, and are not affected.

Salem Health Laboratories is committed to providing quality results for your patients.

Because BUN and creatinine are often used in conjunction to assess kidney function, repeat testing of these two levels is available if you think your patient(s) 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 you would like to be retested, please contact Client Services at 503-814-LABS (5227) and a representative will facilitate the retesting. 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 directly. This opportunity will be available until March 31, 2020.

Questions? Please contact Daryl Vogel, MD at 503-814-3350, or Karl Kamper at 503-814-3128.