Sample labelling

Clear labelling of the samples is essential for further processing in the laboratory. This includes fully completed consignment notes and clear labelling of the sample materials. Please contact our laboratories directly if you have any specific queries or need to send samples urgently.

Sample storage and shipment

Influence of temperature, time and cellular metabolism

When measuring the concentration, the results are subject to change and depend on the stability of the respective analyte and on cell metabolism. Additionally, mechanical or physical strains can lead to changes in the sample materials. Thus, correct storage and preparation for shipment of the samples are vital.


Correct storage until sample shipment

Sample material    Recommended storage conditions
Whole-blood/serum monovettes (non-centrifugedRoom temperature (15 to 25 °C)
Serum (centrifuged in gel monovette or removed with a pipette)Refrigerator (2 to 8 °C)
EDTA blood: blood count, HLA and lymphocyte typingRoom temperature (15 to 25°C)
EDTA blood: viral load determination (e.g. HIV)Refrigerator (2 to 8 °C)
Citrated blood/citrated plasma (preferred): Global coagulation tests (Quick/aPTT)Room temperature (15 to 25°C) for a maximum of 8 hours, if storage and transport period is longer, please centrifuge plasma and send to lab frozen
Citrated plasma: special coagulation testingSample remains stable for 4 hours from the time of collection at room temperature (15 to 25°C), freeze sample if stored or in transit for a longer period.

Swabs: microbiology, molecular biologyRefrigerator (2 to 8 °C))
Blood cultures: pathogen detectionRoom temperature (15 to 25 °C)
CSF: microbiological testingRoom temperature (15 to 25 °C), send to lab within 2 hours
CSF: immunological testingRefrigerator (2 to 8 °C)
Urine: all testsRefrigerator (2 to 8 °C)
Stool: all testsRefrigerator (2 to 8 °C)


Sample shipment

The valid shipping regulations as well as the stability of the respective analytes have to be complied with in the interest of correct sample transport. For complete information, please refer to the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

Notes on sample storage

  • Close the sample container
  • Ship blood samples to the laboratory and analyse them as soon as possible
  • Store samples in an upright position
  • Avoid repeated freezing and defrosting
  • Whole blood without separation of serum/plasma by gel or filter must NOT be froze

For some kinds of test, plasma must be stored frozen or protected from light. In these cases, the plasma must be centrifuged and frozen in a new tube.

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