Pathology and Lab - VA Central Iowa Health Care System
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VA Central Iowa Health Care System


Pathology and Lab

The Pathology & Laboratory services at VA Central Iowa Health Care System (VACIHCS) are fully accredited by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Joint Commission. The laboratory provides a full range of diagnostic services in support of identifying and monitoring illnesses and other medical conditions. The Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Section is constantly working toward reducing patient wait times and is dedicated to providing the highest-quality service to patients.  The laboratory at VACIHCS also provides laboratory testing for five CBOCs (Community Based Outpatient Clinics) in Central Iowa.

The Clinical Laboratory at VACIHCS is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. The Pathology Office is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The outpatient blood draw station is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is located in Building 1 (main hospital).

Samples are taken and analyzed for any of the following:

·         Hematology: The study of the elements in the blood.

·         Coagulation: Includes tests that study clotting.

·         Chemistry: The study of substances carried in the blood.

·         Serology: The study of antigen/antibody response.

·         Transfusion Service: Provides safe and compatible blood and blood products to our Veteran patients who require transfusion support.

·         Microbiology: The study of infectious diseases, including bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

·         Urinalysis: The study of elements in the urine.

·         Histology/Cytopathology: Used to detect certain infections, cancers and other conditions.

·         Throat Culture: Used to confirm bacterial infections, such as "strep throat."

·         Spinal Tap: Fluid is taken from the spine to detect infections, tumors and other brain and nerve problems.

·         Stool Sample: Used to check for bacteria, parasites and other organisms, or for hidden blood in stool.

·         Sputum Test: A coughed up sample is used to detect certain infections, including tuberculosis, and sometimes cancer in the lungs.

·         Gastric Analysis: A tube is inserted into the stomach for samples of stomach fluid are taken. The test checks for ulcers or other conditions.

Lab and pathology exams will be ordered by your health care provider. The results can be shared with your VA health care team or outside health care providers at your request.

Telephone Numbers


(515) 699-5829

Histology Department

(515) 699-5613

Microbiology Department

(515) 699-5620

Chemistry Department

(515) 699-5615

Hematology Department

(515) 699-5625

Laboratory Manager                                                            (515) 699-5616

Contact Info


  • VACIHCS Des Moines Campus
    1st Floor
    Blood draw located near Primary Care

Contact Number(s)

  • 515-699-5829

Hours of Operation

  • Clinical Lab open 24/7; Pathology 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Outpatient blood draw: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.