It is essential that the sample requirement instructions for the specimen preservation and sample collection be carefully followed.
For tests requiring serum or plasma, draw 10 mL of blood for each 5 mL. of serum or plasma. For serum, allow the blood to clot for 30 minutes. Separate cells from serum or plasma, preferably within one hour. Pipette serum or plasma into a clean plastic vial and label. Please be careful not to transfer red cells to the vial. Note: Many tests specifying submission of serum are acceptable when submitted on the clot if delivered to the laboratory on the same day blood is drawn. Please confirm with our laboratory representatives that the test you are submitting is stable on the clot. When using a serum separator tube, follow instructions on page 9.
Samples requiring freezing should be placed in the freezer immediately after separation and transfer of the serum to the plastic vial. Samples should NOT be frozen in a glass tube as this will lead to cracking upon thawing.
The patient should be instructed to consume a normal amount of liquid during the collection period, unless there are medical contraindications. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided during collection.
When labeling specimen containers, please include the source of the specimen as well as the standard information. It is essential that pertinent clinical history be included.
For GYN Specimens: Information regarding the menstrual status of the patient (LMP), previous significant findings, and the results of prior abnormal cytology are required, as well as age or date of birth.
The following criteria have been established for reporting unsatisfactory gynecological cytology reports, based on The Bethesda System for Reporting Cervical/Vaginal Cytologic Diagnoses:
The slides must be first labeled with the patient’s last name in pencil on the frosted end. The examiner must take two good, hard samples with a stick, brush or swab, one of the cervix and the other of the endocervix. The swabs must be rapidly smeared with a firm pass on surface of the appropriately labeled half of the slide. The entire slide surface excluding the label area should be covered with the collected specimen and the smear should not be too thick. When the smearing of the two samples is completed, immediately fix the slide with a spray fixative, or plunge the slide in 95% alcohol and submit in a closed-top bottle.
May be fixed as per directions for GYN pap smears.
The deep morning cough specimen is the most satisfactory. Multiple samples recommended. Induced specimens using heated aerosol is recommended when little or no sputum is produced. Store specimens in wide mouthed jars containing 50% alcohol solution. KEEP REFRIGERATED
Immediately fix the slide with a spray fixative or by dropping into 95% alcohol solution. Again, it is essential to avoid air drying of smears. If you are using nonslotted ethanol jars, place paper clips on frosted ends of slides to prevent slide-slide contact. NOTE: If desired, drop the cut-off tip of the brush into 95% alcohol solution.
Be sure to indicate the source of the specimen, the tests desired, and any antibiotic the patient is receiving on the requisition form. Refrigerate all specimens when holding them overnight except for spinal fluid, blood cultures or specimens for fastidious organisms, which must be sent to the lab immediately.
Blood cultures for MAI and/or fungi drawn in Dupont Isolator must be delivered to the laboratory by 2:00 p.m. They are not to be incubated.
Void midstream urine into a sterile container. Refrigerate as soon as possible. For acid fast bacillus, submit first morning urine.
Collect specimens in sterile tubes. Do not refrigerate. If anaerobic organisms are suspected, submit part of the specimen in an anaerobic transport. system in addition to the sterile container.
Sputum from deep, first morning coughs are the most desirable. Collect in the sputum container. Avoid excessive contamination by saliva.
Obtain all specimens using aseptic technique to avoid contamination with other organisms. Submit all swabs in a transport medium. Be sure to label the culture tubes and fill out all appropriate information on the requisition form. For isolation of N. Gonorrhea, use special transport system (Amies with charcoal). DO NOT REFRIGERATE.
Use M4 transport media