There are different samples on which tests may be done.

A blood sample is usually taken with a special collection tube or a syringe and needle. These are all disposable items and are only used once and then discarded.

Body fluids such as urine, sputum, semen and faeces collected in clean containers. These containers must be collected from the Laboratory or the doctor’s office. These specimens must arrive at the lab as soon as possible.

Specimens may be taken from body cavities e.g. eyes, ears, nose, rectum, vagina cuts and sores by means of a culture swab which is specifically prepared for this use. This swab comes with its own special tube for transportation. This specimen should reach the lab as soon as possible after it has been taken.

A pap smear – is a specimen of cells taken by your doctor from the uterus, vagina or cervix so that your body cells in that cavity may be examined.

Other pieces of body tissue may be sent to the lab usually after surgical removal e.g. mole, wart, pieces of, or whole body organs for the same reason of examination of the cells. These are usually placed in a preserving liquid for transport to the lab.