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HIGH RISK/DANGER OF INFECTION SAMPLES

There is an absolute requirement that high risk samples are labelled as such before transport to the laboratory.  The HSE advise the provision of sufficient information on specimen request forms to staff in clinical diagnostic laboratories to enable them to apply the correct safety measures to control the risk. The lack of sufficient relevant clinical details provided on specimen request forms can result in samples being handled at the wrong biological containment level with resulting increased risk of infection to laboratory staff.


Samples must be considered High Risk if the patient has, or is suspected of having:

 CJDv Hep BHep C HIV  TB


 Any other disease classed as category 3 or above


Samples from patients with jaundice of unknown origin and patients known to engage in high risk activities, such as IV drug abuse, must also be considered high risk 


Blood from these patients should normally be taken by medical staff. If Phlebotomists are asked to take blood they must be informed of the situation. This is the personal responsibility of the doctor making the request.  If Phlebotomists are asked to take blood from patients being barrier nursed they must be informed of the situation.


Requests Made by Order Comms Electronic Requesting

The High Risk box must be ticked when making the request on Ordercomms. This ensures a subtle format change to the request form which, along with the use of double bagging, provides all the labelling required.

Requests made to Microbiology

For all high risk samples the high risk box on the Microbiology request form must be ticked.  Remember to complete the Microbiology request form with all patient details as usual. The sample should be double bagged by placing it inside a second Microbiology request form bag.

Other requests

Requests for departments other than Microbiology, (and where no Order Comms requesting is available), must clearly indicate the infection risk of the patient on the request card.  New request forms are in process for other disciplines which will follow the Microbiology approach in due course. The sample should be double bagged by placing it inside a second request form bag.

PACKAGING AND TRANSPORT OF HIGH RISK SAMPLES

All high risk samples must be double bagged and  must NOT be transported using the vacuum tube system.


ENQUIRIES

Any queries regarding high risk samples can be addressed to:


 Dr D Hamilton
Consultant Microbiologist


Mr Paul Sudworth 
Directorate Manager



Web page last updated: 1st February 2017

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These infections are highly contagious, so we urge people to stay away unless their visit is absolutely essential to help reduce the spread of infection within our hospitals.

Hospitals are full of sick people, many of them frail and elderly, so bringing germs into a hospital is the worst thing you can do.  We have an active programme of infection prevention but we can’t spot visitors who really shouldn’t be here.  Please stay at home if you’re unwell to help aid the wellbeing and recovery of our patients.