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Acceptance Criteria for Specimens and Test Requests

Sample Exceptions

Samples from invasive procedures such as:

  • Sterile body fluids, effusions and washes (amniocentesis, ascites, CSF, pericardial, peritoneal, pleural, synovial, aspirates, effusions and washes)
  • Stem cell harvests
  • Bronchoscopy samples
  • Nasopharyngeal swabs
  • Urine obtained by cystoscopy or suprapubic aspiration
  • Deep wound
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
  • Samples from operating room

Non re-collectable samples:

  • Anatomic Pathology samples (surgical, bone marrow, fine needle aspirates, biopsies. NOTE: Does not include pap tests)
  • Parasite identification samples, excluding stool samples for microscopic ova and parasite examination
  • Entire toenail or fingernail for fungus
  • Kidney stones (renal calculi)
  • Food samples
  • Medical devices for culture, e.g. vascular catheter tips, intra-uterine devices
  • Cases sent by the Medical Office of Health or EI for Outbreak Investigation
  • Cellular therapy product donor samples (contact Alberta Blood and Marrow Transplant Program Workup Office to request clarification of discrepancy from the collection centre).
  • Cellular therapy product samples (contact Cellular Therapy Laboratory to request clarification of discrepancy from the collection centre)

Transplant samples

Cadaver samples

The following additional exceptions have been approved by the APL Chief Medical Laboratory Officer:

Samples obtained before an intervention that might alter the result as such:

  • Timed collections, e.g. timed urines, 24 hour urines, urea breath test, sequential timed collections e.g. tolerance, therapeutic drug monitoring, 72 hour fecal fats
  • Blood cultures
  • Drug levels
  • Stimulation tests
  • Pre-dialysis samples
  • Research and clinical trial samples
  • Cord blood samples from stillborns
  • Cord blood samples for blood gases

Neonatal and pediatric samples (excludes testing for the purpose of transfusing a patient)

Tests where medication levels will be3 adjusted based on the test results, e.g. PT

Tests where the time of collection can be critical to patient care or patient management, e.g. fasting patients, fasting tests

Sexual assault (CSART) samples

Samples where recollection would case undue hardship or affect continuity of care such as:

  • Patients with physical trauma or mental disabilities or impairments that would make a return to lab difficult
  • Recovery room, trauma and Code Blue patients


The following additional exceptions may be made in consultation with the pathologist or medical lead and requester:

Samples where recollection would cause the patient undue hardship such as:

  • Samples from critically ill patients    
  • Exceptional home care patient sample
  • Extremely difficult collections