Specimen Rejection

Some specimens cannot be analyzed because of improper collection or degradation in transit. Other specimens may have prolonged turnaround times because of lack of necessary ancillary specimen(s) or patient information. Every effort will be made to test specimens unless results are compromised.

A specimen may be deemed unsatisfactory for processing for various reasons, including the following:

  • Insufficient volume
  • Unlabeled or improperly labeled
  • Laboratory Requisition Form is missing or has erroneous information
  • Improper collection
  • Damaged in transit
  • Contamination
  • Specimen integrity
  • Hemolysis or turbidity (if the test is performed, this condition will be noted on the report)
  • Failure to meet the preparation requirements for the specific procedure as outlined in the Laboratory Procedure Manual

Blood Collection and Handling Problems

  • Clotted for whole blood or plasma tests
  • Gross hemolysis or turbidity
  • Contaminated with IV fluid
  • Wrong tube used
  • Plasma not frozen if necessary
  • Damaged in transit
  • Delayed in transit

Urine Collection and Handling Problems

  • Urine obviously contaminated (e.g. Stool)
  • Urine not collected with proper preservative
  • Specimen not refrigerated after collecting and delivery
  • Specimen delayed (2 hours if not refrigerated, 24 hours if refrigerated)
  • Specimen obviously not a 24 hour collection

Culture Collection and Handling Problems

  • Specimen received obviously contaminated or damaged
  • Grossly contaminated specimen
  • Unrefrigerated urine culture received 2 hours after collection - no holding medium
  • 24 Hour delay in refrigerated or holding medium urine
  • 2 Hour delay in non-holding medium swab/fluid
  • 48 Hour delay in holding medium swab
  • 30 minute delay in non-holding medium swab for G.C.
  • 24 Hour delay in holding medium swab for G.C. culture
  • 2 Hour delay in sputum transport
  • 30 Minute delay in gastric aspirate transport\
  • 1 Hour delay in feces transport (if no holding medium or fixative)