Collection and Transportation of Genetics Specimens

All culture samples must be collected aseptically in the appropriate sterile containers.

All specimens submitted to the laboratory must be clearly identified by two unique patient identifiers. Please provide patient’s name and another patient identifier on all sample containers.

Samples should arrive in the laboratory within the same day of sample collection whenever possible. They must not be frozen nor fixed. When drawing amniotic fluid, the first 2mL may be discarded to reduce the risk of maternal cell contamination. Blood for most molecular DNA testing (except NIPS) should be taken into one or two 3ml EDTA containers. Collection containers must be closed tightly to prevent leakage of sample during transportation to the laboratory.

Transport media or sterile bottles may be requested in advance from the aboratory (Genetics Laboratory Tel No: 62485873/4). Do not use expired collection containers or transport media for specimen collection.


Please ensure that the following details are provided on the request form:

  • The patient’s signed consent for the genetic test requested.*
  • The name and signature of the doctor performing the procedure to obtain tissue samples. The name of the doctor requesting the procedure should also be provided where applicable.
  • The clinic address to indicate where reports need to be sent
  • The name of the nurse or phlebotomist taking the blood sample for testing, as well as the date of the blood-taking. The relevant OT/Ward and Hospital name where applicable should also be provided.
  • The REFERRAL REASON(S) for the test (compulsory requirement). A history and/or intended purpose of the investigation allows us to select the exact culture regime or mode of analysis most appropriate for the clinical scenario.

*Note: Samples sent for karyotyping or molecular genetics testing require the patient’s signed consent on the appropriate form(s). If the patient is <21 year old, his/her parent or legal guardian may give consent for the child.


After collection, all specimens must be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible. Please contact Specimen Collection hotline of Parkway Laboratory Services Ltd (Despatch: 62485800; Call Centre: 62789188) for the pick-up service. Kindly avoid collecting certain specimens on Saturdays as they may not reach the laboratory in time to be processed on the same day.

For tests such as chromosome microarray, non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) and personalised genomics, there should be adequate pre- and post- counseling done by the clinician/ other healthcare professionals trained in genetics/ a genetic counselor so that the report is properly interpreted. For example, a “normal” result or absence of a mutation just implies that there was no specific alteration detected in the designed sites of the gene(s) interrogated. The patient may still have a mutation in a gene other than the gene(s) that was tested. Thus, the patient needs to be helped through to understand the implications of his/her report.


Genetic counselors are available at NUH or KKWCH. (Please call NUH appointment line 6-7722002 or KKWCH Senior Geneticist at 63942239 to fix an appointment for your patient).