Specimen rejection criteria

In general, the following conditions will lead to rejection of a specimen by the UTH Laboratory:

  • Specimen label or request form that does not meet the minimum data set required by the UTH Laboratory (refer to Section 7 on requesting an examination).
  • Specimen label and request form with mismatched details.
  • Illegible details that cannot be deciphered even after seeking a second opinion from appropriately qualified staff.
  • Leaked specimen
  • No ward details
  • Unlabeled specimen container
  • Insufficient specimen
  • Specimen container past expiry date
  • Wrong specimen container
  • Specimen inappropriately handled with respect to temperature, timing, or storage requirements.
  • haemolysed specimen
  • Lipaemic specimen: cloudy or milky serum sometimes due to the patient’s diet may be rejected depending on the test requested.

However, individual laboratory units have additional rejection criteria as applicable to specific test requirements. 

Rejection criteria.

Histology specimens are considered to be unrepeatable or unique specimens as in a number of circumstances, it is not possible to repeat the collection of the sample. All attempts to correct the unacceptability of the specimen are exhausted before any specimen can be rejected. Apart from the general criteria for rejecting specimens, the following conditions will lead to rejection of specimens in Histopathology laboratory:

  • Specimens received in a wrong fixative.
  • Autolysed specimens
  • Non-human tissue except for research purposes.

Handling rejected specimens and requests

Rejected specimens and request forms are still assigned a laboratory number for record purposes. The reason for rejection is indicated and a report printed and dispatched to the destination ward indicated on the request form. The rejected specimen will be disposed of by the laboratory.