Transport of specimens takes place at following four temperatures:
Use transport boxes supplied by LPL. All gel packs should be frozen for at least 24 hours < 0ºC prior to use. Use separate transport boxes for each of the temperature ranges e.g. all frozen samples in one box.
- Empty transport (thermocol) box
- Place a layer of perforated sponge at bottom
- Place a pre-frozen gel pack over the perforated sponge
- Place specimens sealed in ‘Zip lock bag’ over the gel pack
- Place another pre-frozen gel pack over the samples
- Cover with second layer of perforated sponge
- Place un-perforated sponge and close the lid
- Seal the cardboard box and transport to laboratory immediately
- Indicate ‘Frozen Samples’ on cardboard box.
Major laboratory errors can be attributed to non-analytical factors such as specimen collection, packaging and transportation Colour coded ‘Vacutainer’ tubes are used according to the specimen type required namely serum, plasma or whole blood.
Grey Top: Potassium oxalate and Sodium fluoride
Green Top: Sodium heparin
Lavender Top: Potassium EDTA
Red Top: No preservative, gel or anticoagulant
Red/Golden Yellow Top: Gel barrier for serum separation (SST)
Lemon Yellow Top: Acid citrate dextrose (ACD)
Royal Blue Top Acid washed metal free with EDTA (plasma/whole blood) and without EDTA (serum)
Blue Top (Light Blue): Sodium citrate
Phlebotomy is the process of drawing blood samples by injecting a needle into a vein. Draw blood in the colour coded Vacutainer tube. For serum or plasma draw about 2–2.5 times the requested volume. For serum, allow the blood to clot for at least 30 mins. and separate by centrifugation. For plasma, mix the blood with the anticoagulant by gently inverting the tube 8–10 times and separate by centrifugation. Transfer the serum or plasma to a plastic transport tube.
Patient is prepared according to test specific protocol.
Good specimen quality ensures accurate results.
Register tests as per the requisition slip. Seek clarification in doubt.
A fasting morning specimen is preferred until specified otherwise. Results of tests whose sampling is done between 8.00 to 10.00 am are best interpreted with reference intervals.