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Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Collection

IN ALL CASES - The microbiology department must be informed when a CSF has been taken.

DURING NORMAL WORKING HOURS: The Laboratory must be informed directly via extension:

York: 5721

Scarborough: 2288

AT ALL OTHER TIMES: The Microbiology BMS on call must be contacted via the switchboard (Dial 0)

It is the responsibility of the Doctor initiating the request to ensure that the CSF samples are expected by the Laboratory.

For routine investigation at least 5mL of CSF should be obtained. If extra investigations are required more CSF will be needed. The CSF should be divided into three sequentially numbered sterile 28ml universal containers. These should be labelled “First”, “Second”, etc.

If a glucose level is required another bottle containing fluoride should also be sent together with a sample of blood taken at the same time in another fluoride bottle and sent to the biochemistry department.

Extra tests can be arranged by discussion with medical microbiology staff.

These include:

Serological tests for Syphilis

PCR for Herpes group viruses, Enterovirus and mumps

Cryptococcal antigen

TB culture

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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.