Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Your Health, Your Choice, Your Lab: Metro


Submitted by Metropolitan Medical Laboratory

It’s been
said that Metropolitan Medical Laboratory (Metro) is one of the “best
kept secrets in the Quad Cities.” Metro operates quietly “behind the
scenes” — over 400 employees provide accurate, precise, and timely
laboratory information that area physicians trust. This relationship
between Metro and area physicians has been forged for nearly a century.
Seventy percent of the information used in medical diagnostics comes
from laboratory tests. Patients benefit because of Metro’s passionate
commitment to quality and caring.

Expert board-certified
pathologists (physicians) with specialized training in laboratory
medicine, surgical pathology, and cytopathology are on staff, and their
expertise includes fellowship training and published research.
Pathologists evaluate cells under the microscope to determine whether or
not disease is evident — diseases such as cancer and leukemia.

Metro performs over three million tests annually, and 99.9 percent of
all tests ordered are performed locally. A fleet of 35 vehicles
transports specimens and supplies over one million miles a year.  What
does this mean for Quad City residents? A whole lot of expertise right
in your own backyard.

The Beginning
Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, PLC and Quad Cities Pathologists, LLC
(QCP) have been strong community leaders and trace their origin to 1914.
This is when Dr. Frederick H. Lamb established his practice of Anatomic
and Clinical Pathology serving hospitals in Davenport, Iowa, and Rock
Island County, Illinois. Dr. Lamb was instrumental in developing
pathology as a medical specialty in this country. He was a founding
father and president of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, a
founding fellow of the College of American Pathologists, and an
original trustee and vice-president of the American Board of Pathology.

A History of Growth
Iowa: From this 1914 beginning in a small suite in the Davenport
Bank Building, the laboratory expanded in 1958 by moving to Kirkwood
Boulevard in Davenport. In 1972, the laboratory moved to its present
Iowa location at 1814 East Locust Street. The site expanded in 2000 to
include a second building. Currently at this location are QCP Histology,
QCP Cytology, Billing, Information Technology, Iowa Extended Care
Services, and a busy Patient Services Center.

Illinois: To
better serve the entire Quad City community, the Illinois campus began
in 1976 with a facility at City Line Plaza in Moline, moving in 1983 to
the Metro Towers Building at 1520 7th Street, Moline. Over the following
three decades, three additional buildings were added. The Metro Central
Laboratory includes: Hematology, Coagulation, Chemistry, Molecular and
Infectious Diseases laboratories. Courier Services, Client Services,
Illinois Extended Care Services, and a busy Laboratory Patient Services
Center are also located on the Metro Campus in Moline.

Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, focused on bringing the community
the very best in laboratory medicine, forms an integral component of a
very strong local health network. Metro’s multi-million dollar
investments in state-of-the-art instrumentation coupled with highly
qualified and experienced staff serve our QCA hometown patients.

Metro’s Patient Service Centers are located conveniently throughout the
Quad Cities area. The two newest sites are in Silvis, Illinois and
Bettendorf, Iowa. Later this year, Metro will be opening another two new
Patient Service Centers – one in northwest Davenport (near Kimberly and
Marquette), and another in Moline (near John Deere Road and 53rd St).
This is a time for growth and a time for change.

Metro is the laboratory of choice for most healthcare providers in
the Quad Cities. Metro’s vast array of specialized tests includes
molecular biology, infectious disease, tumor markers, and much more.

Patients are empowered to choose the laboratory that will perform
their lab tests. The American Medical Association defends this right.
Patients like coming to Metro for many reasons. Metro is “in network”
with almost every insurance for best pricing. Their results are
standardized amongst all Metro laboratories for easy comparison. They
have an excellent, trained staff, eight locations with convenient hours,
quick test results, and a Six-Sigma commitment to quality.

Metro provides services to nursing homes and home-bound patients — a
community service that most other area laboratories refuse to provide.

Metro can send test results to any ordering provider — by computer, by fax, or by courier.

On customer satisfaction surveys, Metro’s staff earns consistently
high marks for both skill and courtesy. Metro’s highly-trained staff
will take extra special care to give you the “Quality You Expect and the
Service You Deserve.” Metro customers have written:

  • “The staff is always attentive and polite, and does a fantastic job drawing my blood.”
  • “Metro has my loyalty.  I come a few times a year and have never been disappointed.”
  • “I appreciate the care and friendliness each staff member takes with me each time I am there.”
  • “I have been coming there for many years and have always been completely satisfied.”
  • “The staff is very kind and professional.”
  • “Never a bad experience.”
  • “Fast good service.”

No appointment is needed at Metropolitan Medical Laboratory. Just
stop in at any one of our eight Patient Service Centers listed at www.Metromedlab.com
at a time that is convenient for you. Most of the time, you should be
in and out in less than 20 minutes. If you’re concerned about time, you
may call ahead and ask about wait time.

medicine advanced with new diagnoses and specialized treatments in the
past 99 years, Metro Lab paralleled this progress utilizing advanced
instruments, computerization, laboratory 
automation, and molecular diagnostics. Our next century may again bring forth great scientific research across the world, and the
pathologists and medical laboratory scientists at Metro lab will
continue implementing and adapting these advances to provide 
you, your family, and your healthcare provider with leading-edge science in the Quad Cities.

Metro Lab looks forward with anticipation and enthusiasm to our Second Century.


It’s Summer — a “Hot” Time for Lyme Disease

By Julie Suchanek, MBA, MT (ASCP), Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, PLC

As you enjoy being outdoors this summer, it may surprise you to know
that the blacklegged (deer) tick is well established in Iowa and
Illinois. Infected ticks can transmit Lyme disease as well as many other
illnesses typically during the spring, summer, and fall months.

Lyme Disease Transmission
Vector-borne diseases are diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks,
and fleas. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the
United States. Here in the upper midwest, Lyme disease is transmitted to
humans through the bite of deer ticks infected with the spirochete
Borrelia burgdorferi.

According to the Illinois Department of
Public Health, the deer tick is “established” in 26 counties in
Illinois.  In addition, Lyme disease cases are frequently reported
following tick exposure in these Illinois areas:

  • in wooded areas near the Mississippi River in Rock Island County
  • along the Mississippi River in the northwest section of Carroll County
  • Jo Daviess County
  • central part of Ogle County

In Iowa, deer ticks have been expanding their range, especially
along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. According to the Iowa Lyme
Disease Surveillance Program, many counties in central and eastern Iowa
are known to harbor infected ticks — nearby counties include Des Moines,
Iowa, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, and Scott. The highest numbers
of Iowa-reported Lyme disease cases have been in Allamakee, Clayton, and
Iowa counties.

Lyme disease is becoming more common in suburban
areas with large deer populations. You may come into contact with ticks
during outdoor activities around your home, or when walking through
vegetation such as tall grass or other plants, leaf litter, or shrubs.
Deer ticks infest humans, white-tailed deer, white-footed mice, prairie
voles, birds, pets, horses, livestock, and other mammals.  Ticks live in
moist and humid environments — especially near wooded or grassy areas.

Signs and Symptoms
Most people do not see the tick that has bitten them. A deer tick is
very small — about the size of a poppy seed — in the summer. At 3-30
days post-tick bite, a rash will occur in approximately 70-80 percent of
infected persons. The rash begins at the site of the tick bite, and may
spread. The rash is called Erythema migrans (EM), or “bull’s-eye” rash
(as shown in the photo). However, EM may take alternate forms — solid
lesions, blue-purple hues, or crusted/blistering lesions. EM rashes may
appear on any area of the body.

Other general symptoms may occur
with or without the EM rash, such as fatigue, chills, fever, headache,
muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, the
infection may spread from the site of the bite to other parts of the
body, and may possibly cause:

  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Facial or Bell’s palsy; neurologic disease
  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Pain and swelling in the large joints (such as knees)
  • Arthritis
  • Shooting pains that may interfere with sleep
  • Heart palpitations and dizziness due to changes in heartbeat and/or cardiac disease
  • Meningitis, encephalitis, or radiculopathy

If you suspect a tick-borne illness
If you suspect that you, a family member, or even your pet may have a
tick-borne illness, seek medical attention immediately. Tick-borne
diseases can lead to serious illnesses, and delaying treatment can cause
severe or life-threatening complications — even death.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends a
two-step process when testing blood for Lyme antibodies. Both steps can
be done using the same blood sample.

The first step uses a test
called “EIA” or enzyme immunoassay. If this first test is negative, no
further testing is recommended. However, if this first test is positive
or indeterminate, then a second test should be performed called “Western
blot”. At Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, all positive and
indeterminate Lyme Antibody EIA tests are automatically tested with the
Western blot assay per CDC guidelines.

Results may be suggestive
of Lyme disease if both the EIA and Western blot are positive. The two
steps of testing are designed to be done sequentially — the CDC does not
recommend skipping the first test and just doing the Western blot,
since false positive results may occur.

As with serologic blood
tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of antibody testing
depends upon the stage of the disease. During the first few weeks of
infection, lab tests are expected to be negative, since antibodies
against Lyme disease usually take a few weeks to develop. Testing is
likely to be positive 4-6 weeks after the tick bite.

Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of
Lyme disease usually recover quickly and completely. After treatment,
perhaps 10-20 percent of patients may have persistent or recurrent
symptoms as part of Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, or PTLDS.

In both Illinois and Iowa, confirmed cases of Lyme disease are reported by your physician to the local health department.

Information on prevention as well as other Lyme disease topics can
be found at www.cdc.gov/lyme, or from your county or state health

Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, PLC is one
of the largest accredited laboratories in the states of Illinois and
Iowa, and has provided this community with quality laboratory services
for 99 years. Visit www.metromedlab.com.  Tell your doctor, “I want my lab tests to go to Metro.”