In the Aftermath of Terror: Labs Deal With New Issues

Performance under adversity demonstrates the capability and strength of the lab industry

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SELDOM DO I WRITE IN FIRST PERSON to our clients and regular readers. Yet the events of the past few weeks—and the uncertain path our nation is about to take into the future—impel me to share some insights and thoughts.

Like most of you, I watched the television coverage of these tragic events as they unfolded. In our home, the attacks caused distress and anxious moments, for one of the family works at the Pentagon. Through providence and that thing called luck, he survived unhurt and ended several hours of his mom’s worry with a phone call saying that he was okay and back at his home.

Along with most of you, in those moments I understood that life in America had now changed forever. This is also true for the world.

Spoke To Many In Labs

During the days following the attack, I spoke with many people in the laboratory business. Every laboratory had a story to tell about special deeds and extra effort in the days following the disaster. As I gathered these stories, I began to realize that an unrecognized phenomenon was occurring within our profession.

Yes, there was chaos in the wake of the attacks. Yes, the government shut-down of air travel and other security measures created problems for almost every clinical laboratory in the country.

But true to a great American tradition, during this adversity everyone in the lab industry went the extra mile to make sure that any and every lab specimen got to its destination, that every test was run and results reported as soon as possible. Lab competitors called each other and offered help. Many laboratorians worked long hours, suffered disruption in their lives, and made superhuman efforts to maintain high-quality, timely lab testing services.

Some of what I learned about these efforts is shared with you on the pages of this special issue of THE DARK REPORT. It only scratches the surface of the wonderful and often amazing things that occurred within the laboratory industry. I wish there was room to tell more stories and recognize more people. But at least this is a start.

In closing, I would like to point out that many, many people working in laboratories gained a valuable insight as a result of their extraordinary efforts: our profession, our industry has the capacity to accomplish unbelievable things. All it takes is the belief, the will, and the determination. Labs of all types demonstrated that they are up to any challenge that might present itself to us in the future!

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