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Specimen Collection

Blood samples

  • Do ensure the correct tube is used for the correct test using the guidance provided in the Sarstedt Monovette document: Click here 
  • Do label the sample container AFTER adding the blood checking the patients details to prevent mismatch of names and specimens
  • Do not use addressograph labels on blood transfusion samples
  • Do have blood taken in the morning wherever possible
  • Do not pour blood from one tube to another
  • Do not mix up tubes and tops to tubes – possibility of cross contamination of anticoagulant
  • Do not collect blood from a limb connected to an IV infusion

Biochemistry Samples

For further information on Biochemistry specimen collection Click Here

Microbiology samples

  • Must be material from the actual infection site
  • Optimal time for specimen collection must be established
  • A sufficient quantity of sample must be obtained
  • Appropriate collection devices and specimen containers must be used
  • Wherever possible, obtain samples prior to the administration of antibiotics
  • Use the correct container 
  • Supply relevant clinical information to enable appropriate testing and interpretation
  • MSU samples shall be (preferably) an early morning sample
  • Faecal samples shall indicate duration of symptoms, food history if food poisoning suspected, previous antibiotic usage and travel history.

For further information on Microbiology specimen collection  Click Here

Histology Samples

Ensure the sample is correctly contained in the container and all details are completed

Histology samples MUST NOT be placed in the Air Tube System for Transport

For further information on Histology specimen collection   Click Here

Cytology Samples

Cytology specimens (including seminal fluids and sperm samples)  Click Here

REMEMBER if in doubt contact the appropriate department.

Sample Storage before Transport

All samples should be dispatched to the laboratory as soon as possible after collection to ensure best turnaround times and most accurate results. It is highly recommended blood samples should arrive in the laboratory within 24 hours of collection – the laboratory may not be able to process samples received after this time. Overnight storage of blood samples before dispatch to the laboratory is not recommended and actively discouraged.

For advice on sample storage to minimise deterioration  Click Here

Web page last updated: 1st February 2017

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We are currently working with reduced staffing levels within the Contact Centre.  This may mean that some of our patients encounter extended wait times when calling the Contact Centre.  This is not the level of service we wish to offer our patients and we are working hard to improve the situation.  If you wish to request to reschedule or cancel your appointment, you can complete our online form

We apologise for the inconvenience caused.