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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
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Test
CSF Culture
CategoryMicrobiology
Code
CSF
Test information
Specimens 1 and 3 are required by Microbiology.  Contact the laboratory prior to sending, if out of hours the on-call BMS should be notified via the switchboard.
Pre-analytical
Specimens should be transported and processed as soon as possible. DO NOT send via the air tube. 
Specimens should be cultured as soon as possible after receipt, ideally within 10 minutes and a maximum of 4 hours. Cells disintegrate and delay in testing may give a cell count that does not reflect the clinical condition of the patient. 
If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature.
Special requirements
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies TSE 
· All samples where the clinical details state TSE, CJD etc. should be treated in the same manner as other (“Universal Precautions”) plus any additional measures out lined in this document. 
· Use single use disposable equipment. 
· Where re-usable items need to be use on low risk samples the equipment will need to be soaked in laboratory disinfectant, according to the laboratory 
disinfection protocol, and then cleaned and washed under running tap.
Tube type
Sterile 30ml plain universal white topped
Universal container - white top
Minimum volume
At least 1 ml for routine culture. Additional 2 ml if Viral/bacterial PCR required. Note if culture for TB is required then at least another 5 � 10 ml
TAT Inpatient (urgent)
2 day negative. Positive cultures as flagged. All microscopy and positive culture results telephoned
TAT GP/Outpatient
2 day negative. Positive cultures as flagged. All microscopy and positive culture results telephoned
Referral lab
Local
Page last updated: 08 September 2021