Collection of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and Operative Specimens
NB: All CSF specimens should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible within a maximum of 2 hours of sample collection.
Some specimens are collected by invasive procedures, e.g. lumbar puncture, bone marrow aspiration, bronchoscopy, or at operation under general anaesthetic. Such specimens tend to be non-repeatable and from normally sterile sites, hence results of culture or microscopy are of special importance. Please ensure all specimens are labelled appropriately and accompanied with an appropriately completed request form with full clinical details. Notify the laboratory of their impending arrival.
CSF sample collection packs are available from the Pathology Department which include all the required specimen containers, full instructions on the collection procedure and a brown envelope to protect the zanthochromia sample from light.
With the exception of the following, samples should be sent to the laboratory in a sterile 30ml universal container:
Cerebrospinal fluid samples
Three samples clearly numbered 1, 2 and 3 should be sent to the Microbiology laboratory in sterile 30ml universal containers.
Sample requirements for biochemical analysis are in the links below:
- total protein
- sub-visible xanthochromia
Individually wrapped sterile 30ml or 60ml containers are available on request from the Pathology stores.
Alternatively, tissue samples taken in theatre can be directly inoculated into cooked meat broths available on request from the Microbiology laboratory.
Synovial fluid samples
Samples should be sent to the laboratory in a set of blood culture bottles and a sterile 30ml universal container for a Gram film and microscopy for gout crystals.
Ascitic fluid samples
Samples should be sent to the laboratory in a set of blood culture bottles and a sterile 30ml universal container for a Gram film and cell count.
Contact the Microbiology laboratory who will then arrange for a member of staff to attend the clinic with the appropriate culture media and slides for direct inoculation of the sample.