Transportation to the Laboratory

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  • Routine samples for analysis should be received in the laboratory before 16.00 each evening. Routine samples from outside University Hospital Waterford should only be taken Monday to Thursday so as to arrive in the laboratory no later than 1200hrs Friday; routine samples received after this time will be processed on the next routine working day i.e. Monday (or Tuesday if Public Holiday)
  • A Saturday morning a service is provided for emergency inpatient work only for Microbiology, Blood Transfusion and Blood Sciences. The Histopathology Department does not provide a Saturday morning service. 
  • Routine samples must not be sent on Saturday mornings.


Request forms and Specimen Bags:

  • For Blood Sciences, Blood Transfusion and Microbiology the request form and specimen bag are attached. Samples should be placed in the sealable pocket as soon as samples are taken. The bag with completed request form attached should then be securely closed for transport. Separate forms/bags must be used for each patient.   
  • If sending samples that use a separate bag and request form; Samples should be placed in the transport bag as soon as the samples are taken. The bag must then be securely closed for transport. Request forms should then placed in the outer pocket of the transport bag.
  • Samples must be packed as described above to ensure that in the event of sample spillage/leak that the request forms do not get contaminated and the leakage is contained. 
  • Slightly larger “SPECIGARD” specimen bags should be used for Blood Cultures, Swabs, EMU’s for AFB and Small Histology Specimens.
  • Large specimens such as some histology specimens or 24-hour urines, should be put in large specimen bags and the request form placed in the outer pouch.
  • Specimen containers that are contaminated externally must not be sent to the laboratory
  • High risk specimens should be identified as such with appropriate external labelling etc. 
  • Under no circumstance should samples be transported to the laboratory in hands or pockets.


High risk specimens:

It is a requirement that laboratory specimens from patients who have known or suspected Risk Group 3 infections be labelled in such a manner that this knowledge be conveyed to the laboratory. Specimen bottles/containers and accompanying paperwork must be clearly and visibly labelled as "BIOHAZARD" or "DANGER OF INFECTION" to highlight this. It is good practice for those requesting any laboratory investigation/test to provide as much information in this regard as is relevant but ensuring consistency with GDPR and patient confidentiality.


Specimen Transport within UHW

In UHW there are two methods for sample transportation i.e. Pneumatic Tube and Delivery in person. 

Pnuematic Tube ("The Chute") 

The following guidelines apply to samples being delivered via Chute:

  • Samples must always be placed in a carrier "Pod" before placing in transport station. 
  • Do not attach or affix anything to the outside of a carrier pod 
  • The following sample types cannot be transported via Chute:
    • Cerebro-Spinal Fluids (CSF)
    • Specimens requiring transport at 37℃ or on Ice
    • High Risk Specimens
    • Large Urine Specimen Containers with EMU for TB
    • Specimens not contained in a rigid primary container
    • Blood products/packs

Delivery In Person 

The following guidelines apply to samples being delivered in person:

  • A suitable transport box/rigid container must be used to transport samples from within UHW to the Laboratory.
  • Transport containers should be suitably labelled containing Biohazard signage or similar. 
  • It is not permitted to transport samples in a Blood/Platelet collection box or vice versa. Doing so creates an infection control risk and is a breach of IPC policy. 
  • It is not permitted to transport samples in hand, in pocket or in a non-rigid container such as a plastic bag. Doing so creates an infection control risk and is a breach of IPC policy. 
  • Transport boxes should be returned to the point of collection after delivery of samples to the lab. 
  • Soiled containers must not be used and should be returned to the collection point and suitably cleaned decontaminated before being put back into use. 


Specimen Transport from outside UHW:

All specimens transported from outside UHW to the Lab must comply with the ADR transport regulations. All specimens should be packaged as per the Lab P650 Packaging Instructions.pdf (size 26.5 KB)

It is the responsibility of the sender to ensure that specimens are transported in accordance with ADR transport regulations. ADR compliant packaging should always be used. This also applies to specimens sent by post.

Laboratories in Tipperary University Hospital, Wexford General Hospital and St. Lukes Hospital Carlow-Kilkenny are equipped with packaging materials and containers, which comply with the requirements of ADR.

Specimen Transport and Storage

All specimens should be sent to the laboratory as quickly as possible, preferably within a few hours of specimen collection. Specimens must be transported to the laboratory in a temperature controlled environment (Minimum Temperature: -1 degree Celsius, Maximum Temperature: 30 degrees Celsius). If a temperature controlled/monitored transport is not used a temperature monitoring device must be used (these can be provided by the laboratory). This will be checked on receipt of specimens by lab staff.  Specimens received outside of this temperature range may not be processed. Specimens for transportation to UHW can be left at the collection points outlined below:

Specimen Collection Points:

Laboratory Tipperary University Hospital

Monday to Friday: 08:00 and 12:00
Saturday/Sunday: 09:00

Laboratory St. Lukes' Hospital Kilkenny

Monday to Friday: 07:30 and  11:15
Saturday/Sunday: 10:00

Laboratory Wexford General Hospital

Monday to Friday: 08:00 and 12:30
Saturday/Sunday: 08:00

Dungarvan Community Hospital

Leave samples at reception desk
Daily transport at 09:00

Specimens must be at the collection point 30minutes before collection time

All specimens are transported at room temperature (unless there are any special transport requirements). If delivery of specimens to the laboratory is delayed, specimens must be refrigerated.
Any special requirements for specimen preparation and/or storage are outlined in the individual test information.


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