Effective February 1, 2014, all shipments for coagulation testing are required to be sent on dry ice. TVMDL will be unable to accept samples for coagulation testing sent with ice packs or on ice. In order to provide valid coagulation results, the plasma samples must be received frozen. Unfortunately, ice packs alone cannot maintain a consistent low temperature ensuring samples remain frozen during transit.
TVMDL offers the following collection and packaging recommendations for coagulation testing. Collect blood in a sodium citrate tube (light blue top) for PT, PTT, and ATIII. The sodium citrate should have a 9:1 ratio of blood to anticoagulant. This means the tube should auto-draw full. Centrifuge the sodium citrate tube and remove the plasma as soon as possible and put the plasma in a plastic tube. (This is important as glass can sometimes begin the clotting cascade prematurely or shatter.) Freeze the plasma and ship the sample overnight on dry ice. Specimens not sent on dry ice cannot be accepted for coagulation testing. Specimens for coagulation testing cannot be accepted on Saturdays.
Coagulation testing is performed on citrated plasma samples sent to TVMDL at College Station. More specifically the following tests will require dry ice shipping: prothrombin time; partial thromboplastin time; coagulation profile; antithrombin III.
We appreciate your cooperation as we establish this new shipping procedure. Your business is important to TVMDL and we strive to provide accurate, timely results.
For questions regarding coagulation testing or shipping methods, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu or call 1-866-646-5623.