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The Importance of Properly Handling Specimens

If you are looking for laboratory testing in Miami, then you should be certain that the lab you choose is going to handle specimens properly. The tests performed in these labs are extremely important, whether they be for the purpose of research or medical diagnosis. Regardless, the results must be as accurate as possible, which depends on the specimens being collected and handled properly.

Specimen Labeling

Though it may seem simple, properly and clearly labeling specimens is one of the most important steps toward ensuring an accurate result. Labels must be specific and legible in order to allow the lab to process them smoothly. Returning the wrong results, especially in a medical context, can be unnecessarily devastating, and can be a large setback in a research context. Even worse is if the lab produces results but cannot discern who to return them to.

Sanitation and Safety

Ensuring that the sample is not contaminated or spilled is vital to the integrity of the test, and to the safety of the lab technicians. The first step in preventing contamination is at the time of collection, by ensuring that the patient is prepped properly and the sample collected and packaged according to a specified procedure. However, the lab also plays a role in ensuring the integrity of the sample. Spilled samples not only invalidate tests that could be performed on them, but put the people around them in danger if the specimen was infectious. Care and attention to safety protocols is vital to properly handling specimens in any lab setting.

Specimen Context

The collection of the specimen must be executed properly in order for a test to be valid, and some context is necessary for lab technicians to understand the tests they are performing. For instance, the age and gender of a patient can be important in determining the results of a test, and so should be provided with samples when relevant. Also important are any special circumstances for the specimen, including when it was collected if the information is integral to the testing process. What information has to be provided depends on the type of test being administered, and so must be determined by medical professionals and lab technicians.

Proper Specimen Transportation

There are many factors that go into determining how a specimen should be transported, including if it has to be refrigerated or frozen, if it includes any sharp objects, and if it is infectious. Determining how a sample should be transported is important, mostly on the side of the sender. If a lab receives an improperly packaged sample, it cannot analyze it in some cases or produce valid results in others. Knowing what a lab is willing to receive is important, as including prohibited objects can invalidate your sample. In addition, properly packaging a specimen in accordance with a lab’s guidelines will make the process more efficient for both parties.

Exact requirements may differ for different locations for lab testing in Miami. However, you want to ensure that specimen testing is performed safely and thoroughly at every step of the process. Labeling, context, safety, and transportation are each important parts of the specimen testing process, and cannot be neglected.

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