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Transportation of routine samples to the laboratory

All users of these laboratory services are advised to refer to "Transport of Infectious Substances - Best Practice Guidance for Microbiology Laboratories" on the www.dh.gov.uk website for up to date information on the correct procedures for submitting samples.

All specimens should be transported to the laboratory as rapidly as possible after collection to avoid compromising results. Specimens may be transported via normal portering rounds during the normal working day. Generally, specimens that are not sent within two hours of taking (excluding blood cultures) must be stored in a fridge at +4°C until transported to the laboratory.

Non-urgent specimens collected outside routine laboratory working hours may be stored overnight in the refrigerator, with the exception of blood cultures. Blood cultures should never be refrigerated but sent directly to the laboratory reception. Please contact the laboratory if there are specific questions regarding transportation of specimens.

In the unlikely event of a spillage during transport to the laboratory, porters know to call the domestic helpdesk, as all domestic staff are trained to handle clinical spillages. All risk assessments/protocols are available on sodexo.net

All blood culture bottles should be transported by porter, and should not be used in the pod system.  This includes the transport of Bactex FX40 bottles for Mycobacteria culture from blood or bone marrow samples, the bottles are glass thus need to be transported by a porter.


(Last reviewed March 21st 2018)