Tips Regarding Sample Collection

Prevention of Haemolysis

Allow alcohol on venepuncture site to dry before inserting needle into the vein.

A 21-gauge needle (dark green holder) is recommended for collection of blood using nonvacutainer tubes. There is a greater likelihood of haemolysis with smaller gauge needles.

During venepuncture for collection of blood using non-vacutainer tubes, the plunger of the syringe should be drawn back slowly and the blood should flow freely.

After venepuncture for collection of blood using non-vacutainer tubes, remove the needle before allocating blood into the blood tubes and expel blood gently into the correct collection container.

After collecting blood into the blood tube containing anticoagulant, immediately invert the capped blood tube gently for several times to allow blood mixing with anticoagulant thoroughly to prevent clotting. Do not shake the blood tubes vigorously as this may cause haemolysis.

Collection of Urine for Urine Culture

Instruct patient to clean the genital area first. Use clean water for cleansing and do not use soap or disinfectants.

Instruct patient to pass the first portion of urine away and collect on the midstream (midportion) urine into a sterile urine container provided by the laboratory.

Arrange for the urine sample to be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible.

Collection of 24-hour Urine

Test results for 24-hour urine analysis are based on the total volume in a 24-hour period.

See below for a good collection regime.

Day 1: Patient is to empty bladder completely at a designated time (e.g. 8am). This specimen is discarded and the date and time are noted.

All subsequent voided urine is collected in a 24-hour urine container (obtainable from the laboratory) throughout the remaining of the day and night within the 24-hours.

Day 2: Patient is to empty bladder at the same designated time on day 2 as noted on day 1 (e.g. 8am). This urine specimen is saved and collected together in the 24-hour urine container.

Stop the urine collection and label the 24-hour specimen container with patient’s name, NRIC (or Passport) number, date/time collection begins and date/time collection ends.

Normal fluid intake is encouraged during the 24-hour urine collection period. Dietary restrictions are required for some procedures. Please confirm with the laboratory.

Creatinine clearance test requires an estimate of body surface area. Thus patient’s height and weight must be indicated.

Collection of Specimen for Parasites

Stool Specimen

Stool specimens should remain at room temperature after collection in a clean or sterile container. When the specimen is to be examined for amoebae, arrange it to be sent to the laboratory immediately. Avoid contamination with water or urine.

Screening of parasites e.g. Malaria, Filaria, etc in blood and stool specimen

Examination of multiple specimens, e.g. 3 specimens, for the same patient during a period of 1 week may be necessary to coincide with the varying cyclical production of the diagnostic stages of the causative organism. Please indicate clearly the specimen number collected (e.g. specimen 1, specimen 2) and the date of specimen collection on the container and request form.