- Samples must be obtained under sterile conditions. If small sample add sterile saline to prevent desiccation.
- Do not send whole amputated tissue. Suspected infected portion should be sent.
- Specimen should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible. Larger pieces of tissue may maintain viability of organisms longer. If delayed transport refrigerate sample. Delays over 48 hours are undesirable.
- If Acid and Alcohol fast bacilli (AAFB) are suspected ensure sample is labelled as high risk and that this request is explicit on the form.
- If an urgent gram stain is required please contact the laboratory. Gram stain is not routinely performed on non-sterile tissue, diabetic feet or prosthetic joint samples. Gram stain will be available within 24 hours or sooner if requested as urgent.
How to Collect the Sample
- Disinfect the skin site thoroughly prior to puncture or incision. If necessary use sterile gloves and sterile drapes around the incision or puncture site.
- Guidance on taking wound swabs
A guide on the use of liquid swabs