It is the policy of Premier Medical Laboratory (PML) to ensure that all specimens obtained either from Doctor's offices or on-site are appropriately collected and stored, in order to obtain accurate results.
To establish guidelines for the collection and storage of all specimens.
Procedure and Responsibilities
|The patient's identification must be ascertained before obtaining any blood.|
|Prior to drawing any blood, the patient's arm must be assessed for the best possible vein and the site prepared with an ethanol swab, with the excess ethanol wiped before inserting the needle. The only exception to this procedure is when a blood (serum) alcohol is to be drawn. In this case, the ethanol swab should NOT be used. It should be replaced by a betadine swab, or, if none is available, no swab should be used.|
|Blood tubes must be drawn in the following order to prevent any contamination:|
|Note: It is important that all non-red-top tubes be gently and thoroughly mixed 5 times to ensure that the anticoagulant-blood mixture is homogeneous. Failure to do so could result in inaccurate results. Also it is important that non-Red-top tubes are filled to the correct line to ensure that the correct amount of anticoagulant is being added. All red-top tubes should be gently inverted 2 times.|
|The following information must be present on all tubes: Last Name, First Name, Sex, Date, Time and the Initials of the person drawing the blood.|
|All Red-top tubes should be allowed to clot for a minimum of 20 minutes, not to exceed 60 minutes, before being centrifuged for 10 minutes. Failure to follow this procedure can result in inaccurate test results.|
|Once the appropriate tubes are drawn and processed, it is essential that they be stored in a refrigerator until they are picked up by a driver, or for on-site specimens, until they are ready for analysis. This is important on a year round basis, but especially during the summer months when the hot temperatures can significantly affect test results for certain analytes, e.g. glucose and potassium.|