Medical laboratories assist health care professionals to assess, diagnose and treat patients using laboratory analysis. Medical clinical labs contain an assortment of instruments necessary to treat patients with various diseases and ailments. This includes instruments for laboratory analysis and sterilisation, and safety equipment.
Many medical labs contain centrifuges. Technicians use these devices to separate cells from samples of blood and other specimens. A centrifuge operates by spinning the sample very quickly. The spinning motion exerts centrifugal forces, along with inertia, against the specimen contained within the centrifuge. The specimen separates into various components based on weight, with the heaviest settling to the bottom of the sample. This allows these components to be analysed more easily.
Microscopes allow lab technicians to view very tiny objects in greater detail than what's visible to the naked eye. Lab workers type and analyse cells with regard to size. Labs often use various types of microscopes, including compound and electron microscopes.
An autoclave sterilises instruments using pressurised steam. This helps prevent the spread of infection. Highly effective at sterilising, autoclaves kill spores, viruses and microorganisms, including those causing diseases. Workers wash or cleanse items before using the autoclave. Specialised markers, usually colour changing, allow workers to know at a glance that the autoclave process is complete. Labs use these devices for equipment such as glass test tubes, microscope slides and scalpels.
All labs need a sharps container. This puncture-resistant container holds used needles and other sharp objects. Labelling the container with a biohazard indicator identifies it as the designated receptacle for sharp and infectious instruments
Lab personnel handle specimens containing blood and other body fluids. This poses a danger, and workers must exercise due diligence. Personal Protective Gear, commonly called PPE, is a lab necessity. Lab personnel keep safe using disposable gloves, protective eye goggles, face shields and lab coats. Fires often happen when least expected, and fire extinguishers quickly extinguish fires. Labs should practice additional precautions, such as securing flammable liquids away from ignition sources and keeping hair and clothing away from any flame sources in the lab.