JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

13.2: Sample acceptance and labelling

Visual inspection to determine the suitability for testing should consider the following in relation to the equipment, methods and samples used:

  • the presence of haemolysis
  • the presence of lipaemia
  • the presence of an atypically large buffy coat layer
  • the presence of clots in an anticoagulated sample
  • a low sample volume
  • an unusually high or low cell:plasma (serum) ratio.

If any of the above is identified, then this should be documented and appropriate action taken.

Any systematic variation from BCSH guidelines must be covered by a risk assessment. Tests performed on individual samples not complying with guidelines are documented on an authorised concession.

All samples are labelled with both barcoded and eye-readable numbers.

Samples that are separated prior to referral to the laboratory (e.g. samples separated at 37°C for Paroxysmal Cold Haemoglobinuria investigations) should be clearly labelled and signed to indicate the person separating the samples. Accompanying documents should clearly state the nature of the samples, the person separating the samples, and the time and date of sample separation.