Sterile Samples (e.g. CSF, abscess pus, synovial fluid, tissue biopsies)
Specimen types you should send:
- Sterile body fluid samples (see list below) obtained for microbiological culture
- Samples should be collected from sterile sites using aseptic techniques.
- Please indicate if tuberculosis is a possible diagnosis when collecting samples from sterile sites. Samples and request forms should be labeled with Danger of Infection stickers.
- White cell counts other than on CSF samples should be sent on a separate request to Haematology department.
- If samples require urgent processing please contact the Microbiology Department
How to Collect the Sample
- For taking lumbar puncture samples please refer to lumber puncture standard operating procedure
- Disinfect the skin site thoroughly prior to puncture or incision.
- If necessary use sterile gloves and sterile drapes around the incision or puncture site.
- Aspirate the body fluid into a syringe and decant the fluid into the sterile container.
- Screw the lid back on the container and make sure that it does not leak.
List of samples that fall under above sampling recommendations
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
- Abscess aspirates (from various anatomical locations)
- Pleural fluid
- Bone biopsy
- Tissue biopsy (from sterile anatomical sites e.g. brain, liver, spleen, lymph nodes)
- Bone marrow aspirate
- Synovial biopsy
- Synovial fluid samples - joint fluid aspirates (use same containers for synovial fluid crystal detection - please note that samples for crystal detection should reach the lab as soon as possible).
- Transport the sample to the laboratory as quickly as possible.
- Note: The recovery of anaerobes is compromised if transport time exceeds 3 hours.
- Do not refrigerate the sample