Clinical and Forensic Testing
The toxicology laboratory has provided 24/7 testing for clinical, emergency and forensic toxicology, ethanol, and other volatiles testing, therapeutic drug monitoring, and medico-legal services for the last 50 years. The laboratory provides drugs of abuse testing for city, county, and state agencies, public and private industry, several emergency departments in the Twin Cities region, human performance/athletic teams, halfway houses, correctional facilities, methadone clinics, and drug courts.
- Fred S. Apple, PhD, DABCC
- Amy K. Saenger, PhD, DABCC
Toxicology Technical Staff
The technical staff are highly trained, with degrees in medical technology or biology/chemistry and are certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists as Medical Technologists and the National Credentialing Agency, Inc. as Clinical Laboratory Scientists.
The Toxicology Laboratory is certified by the College of American Pathologists, for both general lab and Forensic Drug Testing, and the State of Minnesota for drug testing in the workplace. Participation in proficiency testing (PT) in general toxicology, ethanol, and Forensic Drug Testing is conducted via the College of American Pathologists and other forensic PT providers.
The Toxicology Laboratory provides a 24/7/365 full menu of services, from chain of custody specimen collection, secure transportation of specimens to the laboratory, drug screening, and confirmation analysis, verification of results by board-certified scientists, and confidential reporting of findings. Specimens are collected daily for non-DOT collections only. All testing is performed on-site.
The Toxicology Laboratory provides the following services:
- Urine tests for drugs of abuse, including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (such as Valium, Xanax), ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, heroin (6-MAM), LSD, cannabinoids (THC), methadone, opioids including oxycodone, phencyclidine (“angel dust”), propoxyphene, or any combination of these or other substances.
- Confirmation of presumptive positive screening results by GC/MS or LC/MS/MS.
- Urine tests for pain clinic management, including amphetamines, benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, carisoprodol, cocaine, ethyl glucuronide (ETG), fentanyl, heroin (6-MAM), methadone, opioids, and cannabinoids (THC).
- Oral fluid tests for drugs of abuse, including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin (6-MAM), cannabinoids (THC), methadone, opioids, phencyclidine, propoxyphene, or any combination of these substances.
- Blood ethanol medico-legal screening and confirmation analysis by gas chromatography, with additional tests available for acetone, ethylene glycol, isopropanol, methanol, and propylene glycol. Testing is available 24/7.
- Emergency qualitative screens and quantitative drug testing, including volatiles and glycols24/7 for emergency rooms, clinical laboratories, physician offices, and clinics.
- Professional consultative expertise providing extensive legal, medical, laboratory, and courtroom experience and expert witness testimony.
- Complete documentation of the chain of custody procedures that ensures results will withstand legal challenges.
- Comprehensive therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacogenetic consultation services for patients on medication.
- Secure, certified testing facility, including specimen storage and record storage, to ensure confidentiality.
- Quality control measures and proficiency testing for staff.
- Computerized reporting and billing.
- Competitive rates for professional services.
Toxicology Laboratory Education
The toxicology laboratory has provided educational opportunities and teaching expertise for since 1982.
Since 1982 the laboratory has trained over 80 laboratory medicine and pathology medical residents and fellows from both the Hennepin Healthcare/HCMC's and the University of Minnesota's residency programs, over 20 Forensic Pathology Fellows affiliated with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, and over 16 PhD Postdoctoral Scientists with affiliated with the University of Minnesota's Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program or Hennepin Healthcare/HCMC’s Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program.
Over 100 students from both the Schools of Medical Technology and Medical Laboratory Technicians have gained training towards their baccalaureate degrees in clinical and forensic toxicology. Including those participating in Hennepin Healthcare/HCMC’s NAACLS accredited programs.
Individual trainees within the department have secured jobs ranging from Medical Examiners, Directors of Clinical Laboratories in Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology in hospitals and industry, research scientist positions, clinical laboratory managers, supervisors, medical technologists, and technicians in hospitals, private reference laboratories, industry, and research.