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Sirens wailing, the ambulance pulls up to the emergency room. A teenage boy on a gurney is whisked through the door followed by his mother, praying quietly. They’ve been in a car crash, and her son has lost a lot of blood.

As the teen is surrounded by doctors and nurses assessing his injuries, the doctor calls for someone to draw blood and get it to the lab for a type and cross-match so the teen can receive a transfusion. The doctor asks the mother if she knows her son’s blood type. She says no.

This story illustrates just one of the critical behind-the-scenes roles laboratory professionals play in health care. Until the laboratory types the teen’s blood and cross-matches it against donated blood, he can’t receive the transfusion.

While doctors and nurses are more visible, lab professionals also are an essential part of the health care system, providing doctors and nurses (and even our community) with the information needed to best manage your care.

April 22-28 is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, and we invite you to join us in celebrating the critical role laboratory professionals play in keeping all of us healthy.

Sarah Stoner, Trempealeau

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