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After-Hours Labs for Sickle Cell Patients

After-hours lab visits allow your child to have blood samples taken after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. St. Jude offers after-hours labs to make regular blood draws easier for your child and family.

You must schedule lab-only visits in advance. Your child will not see a doctor during a lab-only visit.

Eligibility for after-hours labs

The medical team decides whether your child can have lab-only visits. This decision is based on whether your child:

  • Has a stable hydroxyurea level
  • Needs to see a doctor during visits
  • Regularly keeps appointments

If your child does not arrive at the scheduled time, the staff will cancel the visit. If you miss several after-hours visits, you will no longer be able to schedule lab-only visits.

How to schedule an after-hours labs visit

  • During a clinic visit, your care team asks if you would like to have your child’s next lab visit outside of business hours.
  • If yes, the team will schedule your visit for an after-hours date and time.
  • The care team will order your child’s hydroxyurea refill for the same date as the lab-only visit.

If you arrive between 5–9 p.m.:

  • Go to Patient Registration and give an up-to-date phone number.
  • Then, go to the Infusion Center for the lab visit.
  • After the blood sample is taken, go to the Pharmacy to get your child’s medicine.
  • Then you can go home.

If you arrive after 9 p.m.:

  • Go directly to the Infusion Center.
  • The staff will register your child and take the blood sample.
  • After the blood sample is taken, go to the Pharmacy to get your child’s medicine.
  • Then you can go home.
Nurses Station of the Infusion Center

Nurses Station of the Infusion Center

If your child’s blood counts are low

For patients on hydroxyurea, the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is the most important count. If your child's ANC level falls below 500, the hematologist will call you. It could be dangerous for your child to take hydroxyurea with a low ANC. The hematologist will adjust the dose or have your child stop taking hydroxyurea for a while. You must give an up-to-date phone number during registration so the hematologist can reach you if needed.

If your child is sick

You will not see a doctor or a member of the Hematology team at a lab-only visit. If your child is sick, call the Infusion Center at 901-595-2441.

Reminders

  • St. Jude can schedule lab-only visits after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • Your care team will let you know if your child is eligible for after-hours labs.
  • Your child will not see a doctor during a lab-only visit.
  • When you register for an after-hours visit, give staff an up-to-date phone number in case Hematology needs to reach you.


Reviewed: August 2022