Specimen Collection Procedures: Hematopathology

Hematopathology Specimen Requirement Chart


  • Cold pack (Thoroughly refrigerate the cold pack before use.)
  • Purple-top tube (EDTA): To collect peripheral blood or bone marrow aspirate for flow cytometry.
  • Two plastic slide holders with five slides each for marrow/peripheral blood smears or touch preps; allow the slides to dry completely before placing them in the plastic holder.
  • Two containers with fixative for bone marrow core biopsy and aspirate clot.
  • Green-top tube (sodium heparin): To collect peripheral blood or bone marrow for cytogenetics.
  • Tissue Transport Medium: For fresh (not fixed) marrow biopsies in cases of “dry taps.” (Store tissue transport medium in a refrigerator, and check the expiration date on the label before use.)

Specimen Collection*

  • To add specimen, place tubes upright in holes located below tube slots. Ensure that each specimen container/slide is labeled with:
  • The patient’s name and another unique patient identifier;
  • Type of specimen; and
  • Collection date and time.

* Remember to complete a test requisition and add it to the test kit (Keep the back copy of the requisition for your records).

Packing Specimens for Shipping

  1. Secure the lids on all specimen containers, and insert them into the appropriate slots.
  2. Place the foam liner on top of the specimens.
  3. Position the plastic specimen bag with the outer pocket facing up.
  4. Insert the foam kit with the specimens into the bag, and seal it.
  5. Place the kit and requisition form(s) inside the box.
  6. Place the cold pack inside the outer pocket of the box; the cold pack must not be in direct contact with the specimens.
  7. Close the box securely.

Transporting Specimens

  • If courier service is available, call for specimen pick-up.
  • For overnight shipping:

 Place a specimen transport kit inside a FedEx diagnostic specimen bag. Complete a Federal Express (FedEx) air bill and label it with “PRIORITY OVERNIGHT DELIVERY.”

 If specimens are being shipped on Friday, label the shipping box with “SATURDAY DELIVERY.”

 Secure the air bill to the outside of the FedEx bag, and contact FedEx for specimen pick-up by calling 800.463.3339.