Spurious Results due to Inappropriate Collection/Transport/Storage

Problem Common Causes Consequences
Blood Culture received cold or at room temperature Specimen taken out of hours and refrigerated or sent in pod system Reduced viability of potential pathogens
resulting in delayed or no positivity and
failure to isolate pathogen
High level pre-dose assay Pre-dose specimen taken from administration line just after dose given Falsely high result
Increased false positivity in
viral serology results
Delay in transport or poor handling
causing haemolysis
Incorrect report delaying
or misleading treatment regimens
Falsely low HIV viral load
Delay in specimen transfer
to the laboratory
within 4 hours maximum
RNAse enzymes in the blood
cause degradation of the
viral RNA genome if plasma not separated within this time period