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Children are not simply small adults; this fundamental approach to paediatrics holds especially true for the section of laboratory medicine that has to provide diagnostic services for the management of ill children (see recent reference volumes1–3). Specialists active in this field of paediatric laboratory medicine started as early as 1980 to gather internationally on a regular schedule in order to exchange ideas, concepts and technology information in their respective disciplines. Within national societies of clinical chemistry or laboratory medicine, sections were founded which focused on the specific problems of paediatric laboratory medicine (eg, in the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, and in the German Society of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine). However, in some cases these “pediatric clinical chemistry sections” disappeared soon after they were formed, and this was probably due to the fact that within a national laboratory society only a small number of specialists could be recruited. In 1980, a series of congresses was started with the first meeting in Jerusalem, Israel, following a private initiative of a handful of those individuals with experience in the field who came to the conclusion that the very special aspects of paediatric laboratory medicine were not adequately covered by the regular clinical chemistry or laboratory medicine congresses. Among the topics of the first congress were analytical techniques, electronic data processing for the paediatric laboratory, ethical …
Competing interests: None.
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