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Demystifying X-Ray and Lab Findings: Are You Understanding the Clues?

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Course Description

No matter what your area of expertise, no field in medicine spends enough time training you for radiographic or lab interpretation. Join us as we demystify the interpretation of both X-rays and lab findings to help you gain the clues you need to provide better care to your patients. What we understand, we can then use to set up the plan of the day, to progress the patient towards good outcomes and to predict the next step in the treatment goal. Data collection and understanding are important steps in the development of critical thinking. Join us and hone those critical thinking skills in this one-day program.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Describe the intricacies of the CBC differential.
  • Outline a three-part tool to facilitate the interpretation of ABGs.
  • List five quick assessment tools to identifiy chest X-ray abnormalities.
  • List abnormal lab findings, and their causes, that predict possible acute renal failure.
  • Calculate the corrected calcium indicating need for intervention.
  • Outline new lab findings that indicate high risk for severe sepsis.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. The day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

8:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • Why are Labs So Important?
    Findings and the Patient's Plan | Cost of Healthcare and Testing
  • CBC
    Changes to WBC Counts | RBCs—Anemias and Polycythemia | H & H | Platelets | Critical Values for the CBC | The Differential—Now We're Looking for Clues! | Shift to the Left, Shift to the Right | Example of Shift to the Left
  • Coag Labs
    The Coag Panel: APTT, PT, INR | The Clotting Cascade | Meds and the Coag Panel
  • DIC Panels, Including D-Dimer
    Understanding DIC | Reading the DIC Panel | Treating DIC | Case Study
  • Cardiac Labs and ECG Changes
    The Coronary Artery Tree | STEMI vs. NSTEMI | ECG Clues to Cardiac Muscles Ischemia and Infarct | Telling ACS from an Acute MI | Cardiac Panels | Troponin "Leaks"—Identifying Non-Cardiac Causes | Understanding the BNP | Case Study
  • ABGs
    Understanding Compensatory Mechanisms | Normal Ranges | Abnormal ABG Findings and Common Causes | Three-Step Tool for Making Interpretation Fast and Easy | Practice Reading ABGs
  • Labs of Sepsis
    SIRS, Sepsis, Severe Sepsis, Septic Shock and MODS | Identifying High Risk Populations | Lactate | Procalcitonin | Base Excess | WBCs and the "Shift" | Cultures and Sensitivities
  • X-Ray Interpretation
    Points of Normal Chest X-Ray | Clues on the Chest X-Ray for Pulmonary Reasons | Clues on the Chest XRay for Cardiac Reasons | Fractures and Healing | Other Points of Interest
  • The CMP = BMP + LFTs
    Understanding the Liver | Liver Function Tests | What are Abnormal Findings Telling Us? | Breaking the Total Bilirubin Down | Common Liver Failure Complications