• Specimen Shipping

    • Specimens should be sent by Federal Express at the expense of Penrose-St. Francis Cytogenetics/Immunopathology. Federal Express forms, shipping containers, bags, labels, and requisition forms are available upon request. If there are any questions or additional information is needed, or if this system will not work at your facility, other arrangements can be made.

      Please contact:
      Penrose-St. Francis Cytogenetics/Immunopathology
      (800) 942-9753 or (719) 776-5678.
    • Packages should be addressed to:
      Reference Lab/Penrose-St. Francis Cytogenetics/Immunopathology
      Penrose Hospital - 2nd Floor, Cancer Center
      2222 North Cascade Avenue
      Colorado Springs, CO 80907

      Please mark the package PRIORITY OVERNIGHT or DELIVER SATURDAY.

      Please notify us about every specimen that you are sending, and please include the FEDEX tracking number.
      Call us at (719) 776-5678, (800) 942-9753, or FAX to (719) 444-8538.
    • Specimens (in appropriate media) should be placed in a plastic, sealable bag or container (to prevent leakage in transport), then placed in an insulated container (to prevent exposure to extreme temperatures). Please use universal precautions. The necessary paperwork may be placed in the insulated container along with the specimen.
    • OSHA requires that all clinical specimen shipments from state to state be marked with a biohazard label; bags and labels for shipments sent to Penrose are provided in this packet; additional supplies are available upon request. For infectious material, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published a list of organisms and diseases that require special packaging and labeling in its regulations of July 21, 1980.
    • Some specimens may arrive at our laboratory unacceptable for analysis due to improper collection or shipping conditions, or results may be delayed by a lack of information. We will notify you of rejection or potential increases in turn-around-time upon receipt of the specimen. To help us return your results as quickly and as accurately as possible, please run through the following checklist before you send the specimen.
    • Is the...
      • specimen temperature and packing correct (ambient, refrigerated, frozen)
      • specimen volume correct
      • specimen collection correct (in heparin, EDTA, or ACD)
      • patient properly identified, all pertinent information included (date of birth, clinical history)
      • transport medium correct (e.g., bone marrow core in RPMI)
      • requisition completed (ordered tests, requesting physician, billing information)
    • Specimen requirements for each analysis offered by our laboratory are listed on the attached tables.
    • A copy of the pathologic report should accompany specimens to aid in evaluation of the results, as well as any slides already stained with Wright Giemsa and/or slides which can be stained once received.
    • The medium of choice for bone marrow core is supplemented RPMI. Bone marrow aspirates should be sent heparinized.
    • RPMI transport medium is available from our laboratory. Please contact us should you need a supply. Supplemented RPMI medium may be frozen for longer storage; as a practice, our laboratory stores medium at -25° C for up to 12 months.
    • For shipping tissues such as lymph nodes, please send a 1-2 mm thick, 1 cm diameter portion of tissue in supplemented RPMI transport medium. Please do not put bone marrow aspirates in RPMI.
    • It is important to maintain sterility for any sample shipped in RPMI, as it may be 24 hours before we receive the specimen, which is ample time for bacterial or yeast growth. As the tissue, blood or bone marrow is evaluated by classic pathologic methods, unstained blood smears, marrow smears, touch imprints, H&E slides, cytology material or paraffin blocks following formalin or B5 fixation are requested, along with the tissue for immunologic studies, so that an accurate interpretation can be rendered. On difficult cases, a paraffin block can expedite our evaluation. The blocks will be returned on completion of the studies.

    Specimen Collection Tubes:

      Green Top (Sodium Heparin): Collection method of choice for cytogenetic analyses. This tube contains sodium heparin, and is used to prevent coagulation in the collection of whole blood or bone marrow.
    NOTE: After specimen has been collected, please invert the tube several times to ensure thorough mixing of the specimen and heparin. Do not use green top (Lithium Heparin) as it is toxic to cells.
      Lavender Top (EDTA): Collection method of choice for flow cytometric or molecular pathology analyses. This tube contains the anticoagulant EDTA.
    NOTE: After the specimen has been collected, please invert the tube several times to ensure thorough mixing of the specimen and EDTA.
      Yellow Top (Acid Citrate Dextrose): Collection method of choice for flow cytometric or molecular pathology analyses when specimen transport time is greater than 24 hours. This tube contains acid citrate dextrose (ACD), an anticoagulant that prolongs the life of the blood sample shipped.
    NOTE: After the specimen has been collected, please invert the tube several times to ensure thorough mixing of the specimen and ACD.


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