Everything You Need to Know About Specimen Collection


In order for the doctor to decide on patient health, it is required to do some initial tests by the laboratories. This will be done by collecting specimens from the patient and this collection should be done properly and samples should be handled carefully because if these Specimen logistics came back wrong the entire diagnosis and treatment for the patient will be wrong.

What is specimen Collection?

Specimen collection is a process in which tissues or fluids will be collected from the patients for laboratory testing. This will be the first step for diagnosing any patient and prescribing treatment for them by the physician or doctor.

Good practice to follow while collecting samples

To get correct specimen logistics it is always advisable to follow these guidelines.

  • The specimen should always be collected at the right time depending on the health condition of the patient
  • It should be collected in such a way that there should be zero or very minimum contamination
  • For different specimen types, different but correct suitable tools should be used.
  • After collection, while storing or even during transportation always document clearly in order to check in future if necessary
  • The collected specimen should be stored and transported very carefully.

Steps to follow to give error-free specimen logistics

Both the physicians and the laboratory staff should be responsible for the collection and delivery of correct treatment for the patient. In order to achieve this, these steps should be followed.

  1. Do not confuse and make errors in identifying patients. This is the most common mistake that happens and it is better to get administered by two technicians in order to prevent this.
  2. When multiple tubes should be drawn then it is better to follow a correct sequence in order to avoid any mix match or cross-match situations.
  3. After collection, in order to store them, it is always better to use proper containers as samples can’t be taken often.
  4. It is mandatory to mix all the tubes ten times by gently inverting them without storing them as it is.
  5. It is better to submit the samples in the containers in which they are collected instead of moving them to a different container.
  6. After collection, it is very important to deliver them promptly to the laboratory for further testing.


There are many transport options available depending on the type and mode of living settings available in that area. If the patient’s family or hospital attendant is transporting the samples they may use public transport but after submitting the sample to the laboratory they must take a receipt for future purposes.

Few samples should be taken and transported in cold chain vehicles as they might get damaged when they are exposed to room temperature or if they are kept outside for a long time.


Always labels should be given for each test tube in order to avoid any mismatches. Unspun tubes should not be placed in the refrigerator as doing this will increase potassium levels by 135%. Standard precautions should be taken for transporting specimens.

Abel Eino
the authorAbel Eino