Rejection Of Unacceptable Specimens

Criteria for specimen rejection should be set up and distributed to all clinical practitioners. In general, specimens are unacceptable if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The information on the label does not match the information on the requisition (patient name or source of specimen is different).
  • The specimen has been transported at the improper temperature.
  • The specimen has not been transported in the proper medium (e.g., specimens for anaerobic bacteria submitted in aerobic transports).
  • The quantity of specimen is insufficient for testing (the specimen is considered QNS [quantity not sufficient]).
  • The specimen is leaking.
  • The specimen transport time exceeds 2 hours postcollection and the specimen is not preserved.
  • The specimen was received in a fixative (formalin) which, in essence, kills any microorganism present..
  • The specimen has been received for anaerobic culture from a site known to have anaerobes as part of the normal flora (vagina, mouth).
  • The specimen is dried up,
  • Processing the specimen would produce information of questionable medical value (e.g., Foley catheter tip).

It is an important rule to always talk to the requesting physician or another member of the health care team before discarding unacceptable specimens. In some cases, such as mislabeling of a specimen or requisition, the person who collected the specimen and filled out the paperwork can come to the laboratory and correct the problem; identification of a mislabeled specimen or requisition should not be done over the telephone. Frequently, it may be necessary to do the best possible job on a less than optimal specimen, if the specimen would be impossible to collect again because the patient is taking antibiotics, the tissue was collected at surgery, or the patient would have to undergo a second invasive procedure (bone marrow or spinal tap), A notation regarding improper collection should be added to the final report in this instance, because only the primary caregiver is able to determine the validity of the results.

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Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

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