Pa. lab has 2,000 clients annually

Friday, August 8, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:17 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

National Medical Services, the laboratory that performed the scientific tests that led to 10 charges of first-degree murder being filed against former Truman Veterans Hospital nurse Richard Williams, is an independent company, founded in 1970, with headquarters in Willow Grove, Pa.

The company says it performs testing services for about 2,000 clients each year. Clients include corporations, government agencies, hospitals, academic institutions, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys and law enforcement agencies.

The company performs more than “2,500 routine and esoteric tests,” such as DNA and toxicology testing, according to its Web site, The site contains a catalog of tests performed, including drug screens and sexual assault kit analysis. Scientists on its staff can also be hired as experts to testify in cases.

“We are an esoteric lab,” said John Murray, executive vice president of National Medical Services, in an interview on Wednesday. “But one problem we have is that there are very few labs that are attempting to do something like this.”

In its online catalog, succinylcholine testing is listed as something that can be conducted only by special arrangement. Testing performed by the company, which linked succinylcholine to succinylmonocholine found in the bodies of Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital patients, was discredited by recent FBI analysis.

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