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Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources

Delivering Specimens



  1. SPECIMEN PICK-UP BOX

After obtaining and identifying the specimen, completing the Laboratory Requisition Form with all information required and marking all requested tests on the form, place specimen in a biohazard plastic bag. The requisition must be placed in an outside pocket or attached by rubber band or tape to the outside of the bag. Do not staple the requisition to the bag.

To avoid contamination of the requisition, do not place the requisition in the bag with the specimen. Place the sealed bag in the Specimen Pick-Up Box located on each ward.


  1. ZSFG MESSENGER SERVICE PICK-UP

Specimens will be picked up by the ZSFG Messenger Service according to the schedule listed at the bottom of this page and delivered to the Laboratory for processing. Specimens obtained after regularly scheduled pick-ups must be sent to the lab by special messenger or ward personnel.


  1. “STAT” SPECIMENS

STAT specimens collected at times when the ZSFG Messenger Service is not available must be delivered to the Clinical Laboratory (2M) by special messenger, physician, nursing staff, or other personnel. Most samplesfor STAT testing can be sent through the pneumatic tube system. See the table of EMERGENCY TESTS in the section on Emergency (STAT) Services for futher guidance on specimen types that may be sent, and corresponding pneumatic tube station numbers.


  1. HIV-1 VIRAL LOAD TEST

HIV Viral Load tests must be delivered to the Clinical Laboratory Specimen Processing Area for separation of plasma from cells within four hours after collection (collect two 5 mL EDTA-PPT tubes).


  1. TESTS NOT PERFORMED BY THE CLINICAL LABORATORY

Do not send specimens for Public Health or Anatomic Pathology to the Clinical Laboratory. They will be returned to the originator via messenger service.


  1. EXTERNALLY CONTAMINATED SPECIMENS

Hospital employees who handle laboratory specimens have relatively high rates of work-related hepatitis. Loosely-capped containers and soiled requisitions pose a significant risk to all who come in contact with these contaminated materials. Messengers and laboratory staff are instructed to refuse soiled leaking containers and/or soiled requisitions. These specimens will be recorded in the computer.


  1. PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM:

With specially designed specimen carrier inserts, the pneumatic tube system may be used to send most Routine and STAT blood specimens directly to the Laboratory at a designated tube station nubmer. This system is much faster than messenger service.


See below for Laboratory Pneumatic Tube Station numbers and guidance about samples that can and cannot be sent via the pneumatic tube. Please note that samples sent for Laboratory testing must be received with accompanying paper requisition at this time. The only exception to this is the Emergency Department, which has "gone paperless" for general laboratory testing (i.e., Chemistry and Hematology testing).


Specimen Type/Destination

Tube Station Number

Blood specimens for Blood Bank - ALWAYS send with requisition

100

Specimens for General Laboratory Testing - send with requisition

21

Specimens for Microbiology Testing - send with requisition

23


SPECIMENS that CAN be sent through the pneumatic tube include:


  • Most blood specimens (except for PTH, specimens on ice, etc., other exceptions listed below)

  • Only urine specimens that are collected in special urine collection tubes (ED only)

  • Sputum in CUPS, except those collected in ET tubes, send to tube station #23

  • Swabs, send to tube station #23

  • Lavender top tube for Malaria, send to tube station #23

  • Vaginal Wet Mount in the appropriate collection tube, send to tube station #21



SPECIMENS that CANNOT be sent through the pneumatic tube include:


  • Urine specimens collected in Urine CUPS

  • Any specimen collected ON ICE

  • Any specimen collected in an endotracheal tube (ET)

  • Any specimen transported in a syringe

  • Any specimen requiring special handling; e.g., kept at 37 degrees C

  • Any specimen in an endotracheal tube

  • Any specimen collected in a pediatric bullet; e.g., infant heel stick

  • Blood Gases/ Co-oximetry tests

  • AFB/ Fungal blood cultures (collected in Yellow top, glass SPS tubes

  • Stool specimens

  • Any body fluid specimen (CSF, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, gastric and ascitic fluids, aspirated, bronchoalveolar lavage, washes, drainage, etc.

  • Blood specimens from a difficult stick




SPECIMEN PICK-UP SCHEDULE – PATIENT UNITS ZSFG MESSENGER SERVICE

Monday – Friday

Saturday, Sunday, Holidays

Route Start Time

Service

Route Start Time

Service

7:30 AM

Specimen pick-up

8:15 AM

Specimen pick-up

10:00 AM

Specimen pick-up

10:30 AM

Specimen pick-up

11:30 AM

Specimen pick-up



1:00 PM

Specimen pick-up

1:30 PM

Specimen pick-up

2:30 PM

Specimen pick-up



4:30 PM

Specimen pick-up



6:00 PM

Specimen pick-up

6:00 PM

Specimen pick-up. Lab Report delivery

8:00 PM

Specimen pick-up

8:00 PM

Specimen pick-up

10:00 PM

Specimen pick-up

10:00 PM

Specimen pick-up

3:00 AM

Specimen pick-up, ED, 4E, 5E, 5R

No weekend/holiday service at 3:00 AM

  • Due to the number of stops on the route, a routine run takes 35 minutes from Ward to Laboratory.

  • STAT Service Phone: Ext. 68010. If no answer call Operator and state message CLEARLY.

  • All service calls for messenger services must go through the Operators.

Monday - Friday, 4 PM - 7 AM: Call Operator

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: Call Operator

The Operator will page the messenger.

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