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Microbiology Specimen Collection Advice

Specimens for routine investigations should be collected as early in the day as possible to ensure that they arrive in the laboratory during normal working hours.

SPECIMENINVESTIGATIONSPECIMEN

Blood

Serological investigations

Brown topped Sarstedt tube – 7.5mL clotted blood is sufficient for several tests

Blood

Hep C &HIV by PCR

Phone laboratory for advice

Blood

Blood Culture

Blood culture sets available from laboratory

CSF

Culture & Sensitivity

Universal container (white top)

Ear Swabs

Culture & Sensitivity

Transwab (orange top)

Faeces

Culture & Sensitivity

Universal with spoon

Faeces

Ova, cysts and parasites

Universal with spoon

Fluids

Culture & Sensitivity

60mL container

Genital swabs

Culture & Sensitivity

Transwab (blue cap)

Genital swabs

Chlamydia

Kit available from laboratory

IUCD

Culture & Sensitivity

60mL container

Pernasal swabs

Bordatella pertussis

Pernasal swab available from laboratory

Respiratory swabs

Culture & Sensitivity

Transwab (blue cap)

Skin swabs

Culture & Sensitivity

Transwab (blue cap)

Skin, nails, hair

Mycology

Folded in dermapak, or submitted in 60mL container

Sputum

Culture & Sensitivity

60mL container

Sputum

TB culture

60mL container

Swabs

Virology

Viral Transport medium – available on request

Tissue

Culture & Sensitivity

60mL container – must NOT contain formalin

Urine

Culture & Sensitivity

30mL universal with boric acid (red top)

Urine

TB culture

160mL container

Urine

Schistosome ova

160mL container

Urine

Virology

60mL container

Wound swabs

Culture & Sensitivity

Transwab (blue top)

Information and Specific Collection Advice:

Blood for Antibiotic Assay Click Here

Blood for Antibody Studies Click Here

Blood Cultures Click Here

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Click Here

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Samples for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Click Here

Chlamydia Collection Information Click Here

Flu like illness sampling

Please provide a single throat swab sent in a green top container as illustrated below:

Flu Like Illness.png

Pus

A few mL of pus in a sterile 60mL universal bottle or a few drops in a capped syringe with the needle removed is much better than a swab.

Faeces Click Here

Sputum Click Here

Lower respiratory tract specimens for Pneumocystis examination

Bronchoalveolar lavage specimens are best for identifying this organism. If this procedure cannot be carried out then sputum induction with nebulised hypertonic saline can be helpful, although false negatives are common. This must only be done in a single-bedded room to prevent cross-infection.

Surgical Specimens

SPECIMENS MUST NOT BE PUT IN FORMOL SALINE for microbiology.  Use dry sterile containers, e.g. sputum pots.  Make sure specimens are sent directly to the laboratory and not refrigerated.  The laboratory should be informed if the specimen is urgent or requires processing out of hours.

Skin scrapings, hairs and nails for mycology

Use a sputum pot or a “dermapack” collection pack.

Swabs Click Here

Threadworm (Enterobius) investigation Click Here

Urine Click Here

Viral Culture Click Here

Web page last updated: 1st February 2017

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While contagious viruses are active year-round, winter is a prime time for norovirus, colds, influenza (flu), and other respiratory illnesses.

 

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.