Shipped August 2013


The challenge was sent to category A, B, C, and C1 laboratories. Participants were presented with the following scenario:

A physician sends a requisition and throat culture to the laboratory. The requisition includes the patient’s name, Thomas James Smith, date of birth and healthcare number. However, only TJ Smith is written on the throat culture swab and no other information is indicated on the swab. How would you proceed?

 A. Phone the physician and request recollection of the throat culture swab

 B. Reject the throat culture swab

 C. Phone the physician and request relabeling of the throat culture swab

 D. Process the throat culture swab with the requisition

 E. Sample not applicable to the laboratory or not normally processed in the laboratory


  1. Every sample must be handled in full awareness of the identification of the patient and the reason for the investigation.
  2. National and international standards clearly indicate that every sample requires two independent identifiers on both the sample and adjoining requisition.

Full critique (PDF)

Posted in Clinical Bacteriology Results, critiques