Children's Hospital - Specimen Processing Question

Hi everyone, 

   Is anyone on here working at a Children's Hospital that I could talk to about your specimen processing area? I recently took a new role as Manager of Pre-Analytics in addition to POC, and I am seeing some interesting practices that have me scratching my head...specifically, we are pouring off 100% of our chemistry specimens in the processing area before they go to the chem department - I guess so they are all in the same size tube? I am otherwise baffled about why we do this, and when I ask all I hear is that is how we've always done it. Anyone else? I asked if the analyzers can't take primary tubes for some reason, and they said they can. Thoughts?


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We do NOT pour off all our specimens in processing.  The only exception to this is when we have send out test orders from the sample tube with shared chemistry tests (usually a serum tube).


We give the primary tubes to chemistry to spin.  We can use the primary tubes in most, but not all cases.  If pour off is needed, we let the chemistry tech do that.



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I wonder if there was an issue with short samples and they decided they didn’t want the processing techs having to make the call if the sample needed to be poured over so they just decided to pour them all over.


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I don't work in a pediatric facility, but just off the top of my head, I'd say that's just begging for a labeling/aliquot error situation.  It'd be one thing if the analyzers couldn't handle a primary tube, but they can.  Every manipulation of a sample with regard to labeling is an opportunity for error.  Especially when faced with doing massive numbers at once. 

But again, I don't work in a pediatric facility where no doubt there's tons of minimal/short samples, so Lara's point above may justify the reasoning totally.

I work at a Children's Hospital. We only separate sample for chemistry if there is no serum separator in the tube. Otherwise, we spin the samples and send it to chemistry. We give them small pour off labels in case they need to put the sample in an insert cup due to small volume of plasma.

We have a robotic line that spins tubes with proper fill and goes to the analyzers.  If a short draw or microtainer, they are spun in processing then taken to chemistry along with a barcoded empty tube that the chemistry techs can verify the name and pour off before putting on the analyzer.  We do have aliquots if there is a send out or something to another department but Chemistry primarily gets the original tube.

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