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Collection of Samples for Microbiology Testing

General Guidance on Sample Collection
Please be aware that the taking and handling of specimens before they reach the laboratory can have a significant impact on test performance.

Please refer to individual tests in the test database for information on what sample types can be tested and how to collect them.

Check the expiry date on the sample tube BEFORE taking a sample. Do not use expired sample tubes. If the tube has expired we cannot test the sample and will reject it. Please discard any expired sample containers.

Microbiology Sample Collection Guide : For Ward and Clincal Areas

UKHSA Microbiology Sample Containers: A General Practice Field Guide

For samples please ensure:
Right sample type
Right pot (and not expired)
Sufficient volume
Lid on tight (nothing leaking)
TWO forms of identification details should match TWO forms of identification details on the form

On the request form please ensure you have stated:
PID (ensure it matches the sample pot)
Sample type
Sample site
What test is required
Clinical details
Location and person the report goes to

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