Please refer to our April 6, 2020 Covid discussion [click or tap] for a valuable 6 PM comment from Precision BioLogic friend and colleague, Ali Sadeghi-Khomami, who directs Precision’s research team, Ali has provided valuable specimen management information. Meanwhile, the following is a helpful follow-up on the topic of standard precautions, or what George still calls universal precautions from Heather DeVries. Heather cites Dr. Ryan Relich, IU Health, as her source.
Heather writes, “We would like to save these samples for reagent lot validation studies, but wanted to be clear about the possibility of transmission and safety of our laboratory personnel when manipulating the plasma samples.” George paraphrases the response from Heather’s source at IU:
In managing potential Covid samples, if they are aliquoted by personnel wearing gloves and a laboratory coat, and they are being transferred from the blue-top tubes to storage tubes behind a bench-top shield, personnel should be okay. The CDC recommends standard precautions for BSL-2 laboratories–clinical laboratories are BSL-2 laboratories–for working with plasma, serum, and whole blood from patients with COVID-19.
- Personnel must wear lab coats, they must be buttoned, and the sleeves must not be rolled up.
- Personnel must wear gloves.
- The cuffs of the gloves should be pulled over the cuffs of the lab coats.
- Gloves must be changed immediately after they get soiled with blood, plasma, biologics.
- Samples must be aliquoted behind a shield, a bench-top shield would be ideal, a face shield is a suitable alternative.
- Aerosol-generating activities such as vortexing of open tubes should be avoided.
If these simple guidelines are followed, the risks posed by infectious samples can be successfully mitigated. Please remember that these samples could also contain other biohazards (e.g, HCV, HIV, HBV), so these types of precautions should always be taken.
Thanks again to Drs. Rohde and Scanlan for their support on this important topic.