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The Importance of Sample Integrity

A Discussion on Sample Integrity

You might imagine that we’ve seen all sorts of interesting and unexpected “samples” come into WVDL through the mail.  However, we aren’t miracle workers. We can’t, for example, analyze a dried drop of blood on the tip of a Q-tip, nor can we extract the DNA from the ashes of a canine.  Its easy to have unrealistic expectations with all the CSI programs on TV.

So, in order to avoid you, our client, paying for shipping only to have us call and break the news that the sample(s) we received is either insufficient in quantity or unsuitable for the test ordered, we thought we’d take a moment to go over a few pointers on sample integrity:

1)     When in doubt…please call us!  If you’re not sure what to send or how much, just contact the lab.  It could save everyone a headache later on, and save you from mailing samples to us twice.

2)     Refer to our website for general guidelines on the quantity and type of sample required for each test (click on the hyper-linked title of the test of interest).

3)     Please be sure to send sufficient quantity of sample.   If the amount we receive is too little, we may not be able to test the sample.

4)     If using an anticoagulant tube (e.g. lavender-top EDTA, or green-top heparin tube) invert the sample and mix well immediately after sampling!  Failure to do so can cause clotting, therefore risking sample rejection.

5)     Avoid hemolysis.  If possible, spin blood immediately and remove the serum from the clot before shipping.

Please take the time to ensure good sample quality and sufficient quantity. The quality of the result is only as good as the quality of the sample!