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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – please contact IBGRL before referring samples from suspected/confirmed positive patients.

Sample(s) and request form(s) must be labelled as HIGH RISK and comply with UN3373.

Further information

IBGRL coronavirus (COVID-19) update

6 April 2020

This is an update on the provision of IBGRL testing services during the current situation involving COVID-19.  NHSBT IBGRL laboratories will continue to test blood samples referred as normal, with some change to practice managed under local risk assessments. 

IBGRL must be notified in advance of referral of samples from patients with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 infection. This is to allow a clinical review to be performed by NHSBT Medical staff. In most cases we expect to be able to process samples from patients with suspected/confirmed infection following appropriate risk assessment, but we may need to discuss and assess the clinical needs of the patient in deciding which tests to do.  In addition, some techniques may not be used for samples from patients with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 infection.

NHS England customers must comply with UN3373 packaging regulations. Samples and request forms should be labelled “high risk”. The sample must be properly sealed, and placed in a sealed plastic bag, with an adsorbent pad, placed in a protective container such as a sample box or plastic tub. 

For international customers, samples and request forms should be labelled “high risk”.  Please comply with shipping regulations for dangerous goods as requested by your chosen courier company.

Please note that the turnaround times for samples referred from patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may be extended as additional precautions will have to be taken.

Should you have any questions, please contact Erika Rutherford, IBGRL Business Development Manager at erika.rutherford@nhsbt.nhs.uk