PatientsVisitorsLocations & ServicesAbout the RegionJoin Our TeamPhysicians
Find:  Locations | Services
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine HomeTest and Services CatalogueTransfusion Medicine Product CataloguePolicy and ProcedureJob AidsSpecimen Collection and TransportRequisitionsAntibiogramsGenetic Testing and Molecular GeneticsMicrobiology EssentialsTransfusion EssentialsReference RangesLaboratory SuppliesAcute Care SCM GuidelinesContact InformationPhysician Access to Patient ResultsNew Clinic or Provider Information Changes
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Specimen Acceptance and Rejection Criteria


​Please refer to the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Lab Services Manual to search for test specific information related to the specimen requirements.

  • All test requisitions and specimens delivered to the laboratory must meet the defined criteria for:
  • Identification
  • Proper labeling of specimen and fully completed requisition
  • Collection criteria
    • Transfusion Medicine
      • Pre-transfusion/pre-transplant testing requires signatures from TWO DIFFERENT persons
      • Other test requests- collection signature required
  • Transported in accordance with the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations


  • The identification on the erquisition and specimen do not match
  • unlabeled or mislabeled specimens
  • A specimen that requires approval, that has not been approved by the appropriate Lab Clinical staff
  • Examples of unsuitable specimens are:
    • Incorrect specimen collection container
    • insufficient specimen quantity
    • Transported incorrectly
    • Inadequate fixative
    • specimen too large for container
    • Incorrect media
    • Specimen stability compromised (i.e. age of specimen, temperature stored)
  • Any specimen submitted in a manner which could create a health or safety hazard to laboratory personnels is considered unacceptable (e.g. leaking specimens, syringes or blood products with needles attached.)

  • Histocompatibility (HLA) specimens that are unlabeled or mislabeled will not be processed under any circumstances
    • unsigned HLA requisitions will result in specimen discard
    • Signature for 'Collected by and identified by' required for all collections
  • Transfusion Medicine (TML) specimens:
    • Incomplete and/or unsigned Transfusion Medicine requisitions will result in specimen discard
      • Pre-transfusion/pre-transplant Transfusion Medicine requisitions require 2 separate signatures
      • Other test requests - collection signature required
  • Pre-transfusion specimens
    • unlabeled, illegibly-labelled, mislabeled, or inadequately labelled specimens
      • Original labeling must be present and visible
    • Incomplete, inaccurate, or illegible information on the requisition
    • Discrepancies between requisition patient information and specimen label information
    • Incomplete or missing signatures verifying patient identity
      • Collected by - required for all collections
      • Identified by - required for pre-transfusion tests indicated by * on front of form
    • Date and time of collection 
  • All other specimens 
  • Refer to test specific Lab Services Manual document 
  • Provide signatures and/or initials as indicated on the requisition

​Rejection Consequences:

  • ​Communication will be provided to the ordering health care professional
  • Specimens which can be recollected (eg. blood, urine, swabs, etc.) will be discarded and the test cancelled
  • Specimens which cannot be recollected (eg. CSF, tissue, etc.), collection personnel will be contacted to:
    • Correct the labelling error or health hazard
    • sign a waiver form accepting full responsibility for the indentification of the specimen

In the event where the specimen is non-sufficient, a physician or clinical consult may be required to determine the order of priority for testing where applicable

If you choose to print this information, it is valid only on date of print.

Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-933 v2

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 |
Questions or feedback about this page?