We use cookies to help us improve the website and your experience using it. You may delete and block all cookies from this site at any time. However, please note this may result in parts of the site no longer working correctly. If you continue without changing your settings we will assume you are happy to receive all cookies on this site.

Close

How to store test samples

Guidance for GPs on how to store samples and how long samples can be stored before testing. For full details see each department's laboratory user guide. Download this information as a PDF guide to sample storage (PDF, 29KB)

 

Department Sample type Storage requirements
Biochemistry Urines Suitable for overnight refrigeration only. They must not be stored over a weekend. Urine urate must be stored at room temperature.
Biochemistry Bloods All samples must arrive on the day of collection. Samples must not be stored overnight as analytes are affected differently by refrigeration and/or room temperature storage.
Haematology Bloods Ideally all samples must arrive on the day of collection. MCV and ESR results will be invalid if stored by refrigeration overnight. Coagulation samples are not suitable for overnight refrigeration. Plasma viscosity samples must be stored overnight at room temperature only.
Immunology Urines Suitable for overnight refrigeration only, they must not be stored over a weekend.
Immunology Bloods All samples with the exception of CD4s immunophenotyping (EDTA tubes) are suitable for overnight refrigeration only, they must not be stored over a weekend.
Microbiology and Virology Bloods and urines All samples are suitable for overnight refrigeration only, they must not be stored over a weekend.
Histopathology and Cytology - All samples can be left at room temperature overnight only, they must not be stored over a weekend.