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A conversation at the lab

Posted Oct 10 2010 6:30pm
"I asked for 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol. The invoice also says that. The report you gave me, however is for 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol."

"Hmmmm. Ok. Let me check."

(Calls someone.)

"Madam. There's a patient here. He says he asked for 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol but we gave him the report for 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol. They are the same? Ok. I will let him know."

"No, no, one second, let me speak to her."

(hands over the phone to me)

"They are not the same ma'am. 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol is the active form of Vitamin D3 while 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol is the inactive form. I want the level of the active form, not the inactive form."

"Hmmmm. But the bill said Vitamin D."

"Ma'am, I asked for 1,25 dihydroxy choilecalciferol and that is what the bill also says"

"Ok sir, please give me an hour and I will call you back"

This is the state of our labs. I paid a huge Rs. 2290 for this test and I wasn't going to accept a mistake someone else made. I asked for the correct test. I actually made the receptionist making the bill show me the monitor and made sure the correct test was chosen because I knew this could happen. And inspite of all this, I get a wrong test report!

For the last time, here is a summary of Vitamin D3
25 hydroxy cholecalciferol is the inactive form of Vitamin D3. It is not of much use to the body. What the body needs is the active form - 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol. 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol is what we get from our food and sunlight etc. The kidney converts this inactive form to the active form - 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol. This is the form that is useful in our body. This is what absorbs Calcium from our guts into the blood. In people with impaired renal function, obviously, the active form will be less because the inactive form is not being converted into the active form. So, people with kidney disease need to take a supplement of the active form.
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