Completing the request form and labelling the specimen

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Data Protection

The Pathology Department UHW retains information in relation to each test received based on regulatory and best practice guidelines. We ensure individual patients privacy is maintained, information is held securely and the appropriate safeguards are in place for the secondary use of information in accordance with the HIQA guidelines.

In the interest of patient safety, inadequately completed request forms and specimens will not be processed.

Request Forms

Blood Sciences Request Form (WRH-PATH-LF-299)

 Blood Sciences Internal Request Form (FORM-PATH-233)

Blood Transfusion:
Blood Grouping and Compatibility Testing Request Form (WRH-BT-LF-015)
Request for Blood Group Investigation(WRH-BT-LF-115)

Blood Sciences Request Form (WRH-PATH-LF-299)

Blood Sciences Internal Request Form (FORM-PATH-233)

Surgical Histology Request Form (WRH-HIS-LF-001)
Immunology Request Form (WRH-HIS-LF-408)                                                                                                                                                                    Semen Analysis Form (FORM-PATH-HIST-7)

Microbiology Request form (FM009)
Serology Request Form (FM10)
MRSA Request Form (FM016)
VRE Request Form (FM021)

Essential information on Request Form:

  • Patients full name
  • D.O.B and/ or Hospital number/CCI number (if applicable)
  • Patients Address/ Hospital number/CCI number
  • Patient’s gender
  • Patients Consultant or GP/ GP code
  • Hospital & Ward or GP address
  • Date of specimen
  • Tests requested and specific clinical information

Essential information on Specimen:

  • Patients full name
  • D.O.B. and/or hospital number/CCI number 

Essential Blood Transfusion specimen/ request form requirements

Number of samples required

Separate blood samples are required for each of the laboratory disciplines. (E.g. if a clotted blood sample is required for Autoantibody, Serology and Haematology tests, then three clotted blood samples should be sent).  Ensure the correct number of samples are sent for the tests requested. Refer to test library.

  • If inadequate numbers of samples are sent, tests for different departments from a single sample may not be carried out. 
  • Excess blood sampling leads to unnecessary venupuncture and waste of resources.

If venepuncture is difficult and adequate numbers of samples cannot be obtained the laboratory should be notified before receiving the patient’s sample so that this factor can be taken into consideration.

Multiple tests for Biochemistry may be requested on one form but tests for another department should not be requested on the Biochemistry form. This applies to all laboratory disciplines and also applies to “on-call” samples.

The provision of legible and appropriate clinical details on the request form, together with a properly collected specimen, allows the Laboratory to issue relevant and accurate results and to assist the clinician in the interpretation of these results in the clinical context.

The Pathology Medical and/or Laboratory Scientific staff should be consulted where uncertainty exists about the availability, appropriateness, or selection of tests, the nature of the specimen required, or the interpretation of results.

Irreplaceable samples

Samples which cannot be re-obtained (as detailed below). Some irreplaceable samples may be processed provided certain specific procedures are followed to determine and document the unique identity of the samples.

  • Samples obtained by invasive procedures such as surgery, biopsies, fluid aspirates and foetal amniotic sampling.
    Samples obtained before an intervention that might alter the result (e.g. a sample sent for blood culture where antibiotic therapy was administered before a repeat sample could be obtained).
    Umbilical cord blood, blood samples from neonates, or from infants less than 6 months of age for whom the total blood volume is problematic.

Guidelines for Irreplaceable Histology/Cytology Samples

  • Histology and Cytology samples cannot be processed if there is incomplete or inaccurate patient demographic data on request forms and/or specimen containers.  If such samples are received, the requesting clinician will be contacted and the sample(s) will be returned to requesting clinician for correction.  NOTE: Samples from within UHW, may be corrected at the Histology laboratory by the requesting clinician/relevant ward staff.
  • For Histology and Cytology samples with incomplete or inaccurate specimen type/site discrepancies on request form and/or specimen container, the requesting clinician is contacted by phone to verify the specimen type/site.

Guidelines for Irreplaceable Microbiology Samples

  •  The requesting ward/clinician is phoned to inform them of the discrepancy. Details are recorded.
    The sample is processed using the disclaimer: This specimen did not comply fully with Laboratory Identification Criteria. *See below Caution is required in interpreting this result.                           

Guidelines for Irreplaceable Blood Transfusion Samples

  • The requesting ward/clinician is phoned to inform them of the discrepancy. Procedures are followed as outline in PPC-PATH-BT-001.