Collection and shipping material
Correct sample collection is an often underestimated yet crucial factor to achieve a good result. Specific instructions are available at the bottom of this webpage.
Identification of samples is necessary
Sample mix-ups make a blood sample potentially worthless and, moreover, dangerous!
It is a legal obligation to identify the samples unambiguously. The persons in charge of the collection must ensure that the identification data of the patient and that of the prescription correspond. Primary identification must take place in the presence of the patient.
A compliant identification procedure must allow a direct link between the application form and the corresponding primary samples. Therefore, please state the patient’s name and first name and/or your reference on the samples and/or label the samples with the unique blue barcodes supplied by AML and put them together with the completed application form in a plastic bag intended for that purpose.
If you have multiple collections at different times from the same patient, please also state the date + time of collection on the samples.
Please state the collection duration for collections.
We ask laboratories that send body fluids to state the nature of the sample on the recipient (urine, lumbar fluid, plasma, serum, etc.). If you do not state anything, we will assume that it is the correct amount for the requested analysis.
Blood samples are preferably kept at room temperature, but can usually also be stored in a cool box or in a refrigerator at 2-8°C pending the examination, for example if microbiology samples have also been taken from the patient. Cooling is not recommended for some analyses, such as potassium. With a combination of different optimal storage conditions, it is best to store according to the clinical priority of the requested tests. If you have a centrifuge at the practice, you can spun the blood so that there is usually no problem with sample storage of blood.
Microbiology samples are preferably stored in a cool box or in a refrigerator at 2-8°C. An exception to this are blood cultures that must be stored at room temperature and lumbar fluid cultures that must be stored at 37°C pending analysis (or if this is not possible at room temperature).
Never place the samples near a heat source (eg on a radiator or in the sun)!
Frozen samples are shipped in special freezer containers. Avoid frequent freezing and thawing as this may lead to erroneous results. If you request multiple analyzes on the same frozen sample, please freeze an aliquot (fraction) per analysis.
Permanent quality assurance
With a view to permanent quality control, we will continue to emphasize that an important part of the quality of the delivered research is partly determined by the pre-analysis, in other words the part that takes place before the research starts in the laboratory itself. After all, you and your patient can make a significant contribution to the quality of the sample. This starts with carefully following the collection instructions and the correct storage of the samples before the messenger picks them up.
Especially in the summer months it is important that samples for microbiology (with the exception of blood culture and lumbar fluid culture) are kept cool enough so that no uncontrolled growth of micro-organisms can occur, after which overgrowth can create a wrong picture of the initially present bacterial flora. That is why the ushers use cool boxes. Extreme temperatures can be avoided at all times for all samples for the lab!