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Clinical Biochemistry Faq

How do I request additional tests on a sample already received by the laboratory?

If you require additional tests on a sample already sent to the laboratory follow the guidelines below.  Samples are routinely retained for a minimum of 5 days.

There is no need to contact the laboratory directly if your request meets the criteria below.  Please send an ICE mail.

Add-on requests are restricted as follows.

  • Acute investigations
  • Amylase, Paracetamol, Salicylate, Troponin T, HCG and U&E
  • Time Critical and Difficult To Collect Samples
  • All drug assays including antibiotic assays
  • B12 / Folate to pre-transfusion samples in patients who have had a recent transfusion in the last month
  • Confirmation of positive Opiate Screens
  • Investigations on CSF samples
  • Specific Patient groups
  • All paediatric and neonatal samples
  • Samples from outpatients

For requests that fall outside this repertoire please call Duty Biochemist within working hours (9:00am - 5:30pm) on extension 23430 or the on-call Consultant Biochemist out of hours via switchboard to discuss the clinical need.

For Haematology add on requests (apart from B12 / Folate) please continue to request normally or call Pathology Help Desk on extension 23080

The following are NOT available for adding as an additional request:

  • Ammonia (Due to instability)
  • Bicarbonate (Due to instability)
  • Glucose if no fluoride (Grey top) sample was received
  • Lactate if no fluoride (Grey top) sample was received
  • Any sample sent chilled at 4°C e.g. ACTH, Gut hormone
  • Renin and PTH

 How do I fill out a request form?

Request forms should not be used, please use ICE order comms.

 How long are samples kept in the laboratory?

Samples are kept in a cold store for approximately 5 days.

 If I have a problem with ICE do I ring the Laboratory? 

All ICE queries should be directed to an appropriately trained person on your ward.

  I ring the help desk but I can't get through 

The help desk number for general enquiries for Clinical Chemistry & Haematology (samples, results, urgent requests) is extension 23080.  Haematology specific queries (test advice) ext 22708  

I have lots of different tests to request, how do I know which sample tube to use and how many tubes do I need?

ICE should give the information of the number and type of container required during entry and the information is also printed on the barcode label.  Alternatively use the Pathology Test Information database for sample information.  

Should I collect lots of samples from a patient?

 No, any extra blood tubes collected, not required for analysis will be discarded.The exception is blood collected from children.  All paediatric blood samples will be used.