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When to Label Tubes

On October 25, 2017, Heather DeVries, Indiana University Health, initiated a provocative discussion on the storage and transport of PTT specimens. Dr. Emmanuel Favaloro commented, providing some potential liberalization of the time limits imposed in the CLSI H21-A5 guideline. He also provided a reference, Lippi G, Salvagno GL, Montagnana M, Lima-Oliveira G, Guidi GC, Favaloro EJ. Quality standards for sample collection in coagulation testing. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2012;38:565–75. This reference offers European specimen management guidelines, one of which was a surprise. Dr. Lippi’s article requires that specimens are to be labeled in the presence of the patient before collection. The recent GP41, Collection of Diagnostic Venous Blood Specimens, 7th Edition maintains the time-honored requirement that specimens be labeled subsequent to collection in the presence of the patient. I am curious about our blood collection practices, please comment on your approach, label before, or label after. Thank you.

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