Correct specimen collection and shipping of Microbiology specimens are critical for rapid and accurate identification of significant microorganisms.
- Check expiration date of sterile containers/tubes/swabs, etc. prior to collecting specimen. Do not use if expired.
- Designated sterile containers/tubes/swabs etc. must be used for any culture (except stool cultures).
- Collection containers should be closed tightly and precautions taken to prevent leakage of the specimen during shipping.
- Whenever possible, obtain specimen prior to the administration of antibiotics.
- Use the bar code label with patient’s name and ID to identify the specimen.
- Place the labeled specimen in a plastic Transport Bag.
- Hold culture at the proper temperature. Please refer to individual culture guidelines.
- Due to short stability, specimens must be collected and shipped to the laboratory Monday through Friday only.