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Criteria for Unacceptable Specimen

The following specimens will be rejected:


Clotted specimen

Contaminated specimen

Insufficient specimen

Mislabelling of specimen (wrong patient identification)

Unlabelled specimen

Wrong dilution

Specimen container

Specimen leakage and spillage

Wrong specimen container used

Patient information

Insufficient information submitted

Incorrect information submitted

Mislabelling of form (information on specimens labels and form differ)

Transport condition

Delayed specimen

Improper specimen condition (temperature, frozen, in ice)

Improper Transport condition (eg. Blood gas specimen send via the pneumatic system)

To ensure a high level of patient safety, specimens that are wrongly labelled will ordinarily be rejected. A fresh specimen must then be submitted for testing.


Wrongly labelled specimens that fall into the category of specimens that are either irreplaceable or hard to obtain may be reviewed for testing on a case-to-case basis. The responsible physician in charge must obtain a memo or email from his / her Division Chairman or delegate for approval to correct the labelling error. Irreplaceable specimens include specimens that are either non-replaceable (e.g. histopathology specimens) or difficult to obtain (e.g. cerebrospinal fluid samples).

In the situation when specimens are rejected, the reason for rejection will be documented in the Laboratory information system and the rejected specimen will be safely disposed of.