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Nyah’s tour of the pathology labs with Harvey’s Gang

Posted: 25 October 2018

Picture of Nyah standing at a machine that analyses blood samples

This week we welcomed our newest trainee biomedical scientist. Ten year old Nyah joined us for a tour of the pathology labs at Watford General Hospital with Harvey’s Gang to find out where her blood samples go and how the labs process her results.

Nyah was diagnosed in 2013 with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – an extremely rare type of cancer that affects the white blood cells, and has been in and out of hospital ever since. She was given the opportunity to tour the labs by Harvey’s Gang, a charity launched in memory of eight year old Harvey Buster Baldwin who visited the pathology labs at Worthing Hospital where he was treated for leukaemia. Watford General became the 37th hospital to welcome Harvey's Gang, which aims to demystify the process of where blood samples are analysed for young hospital patients, earlier this year.

During the visit Nyah, accompanied by her granddad, got to label her own blood sample and scan her form onto the system. Our biomedical scientists then explained how her blood samples would be tested and how the machine analyses the compounds in her blood. They gave Nyah the opportunity to load her blood sample onto the machine to see first-hand how it worked.

She learned how her sample gets mixed, and how the machine knows what to do. She also got to look at blood cells through a microscope – letting her granddad have a look too – and saw how a special machine is used to colour all the cells in before visiting blood transfusion and seeing a bag of platelets up close. Ben Sheath, transfusion practitioner, said: "Patients like Nyah are the reason we strive for our service delivery. We serve our patients, and we serve them well."

At the end of her visit, Nyah was presented with her own goody bag, chocolates and a certificate.

Thank you to everyone who supported Nyah’s visit.

Ends

Notes to editors

  1.  For more information please contact Aimee Fitzpatrick, Communications Officer at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust on 01923 436284 or email (aimee.fitzpatrick@whht.nhs.uk). Out of hours, please call 07900 228031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
  3. For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) and find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).