Proper specimen collection and transport are vital to provide valid microbiology test results. Please follow these general guidelines when obtaining, storing, and delivering specimens for analysis:

  • Always explain specific specimen collection procedures to the patient.
  • Use a sterile container and practice good aseptic technique.
  • When using a culturette, make sure that the swab has been properly reseated to saturate the swab with the medium. This aids in the preservation of organisms. Also, check the expiration date of the culturette.
  • All specimen containers must be properly sealed for safe handling.
  • Place the specimen in the sealable portion of the biohazard specimen transport bag. The Test Requisition should be placed in the outer pocket and not with the specimen. This will help eliminate potential contamination of the form.
  • After the specimen is obtained, it should be stored properly and delivered promptly to the laboratory.
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