Out of Hours Microbiology Service
Samples will only be processed out of hours if the on-call Biomedical Scientist (BMS) has been paged via Switchboard
Microbiological investigations should only be requested on-call if the results are likely to influence patient management. This may arise either because initial management will be affected by results available immediately or because the specimen is unrepeatable and fastidious organisms may die if cultures are not inoculated immediately.
The following investigations will normally be accepted without question:
Pre-dialysis Hepatitis B surface antigen
Pre-transplant serological testing
If clear clinical reasons are given, then the following may be accepted
Pus or tissue from theatre
Invasive lower respiratory tract samples (e.g. BAL)
Throat swabs for Neisseria meningitidis culture
Urine microscopy/culture (These will only be processed before midnight)
Source testing in inoculation injuries (according to Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust procedure for the management of inoculation injuries (available on Trustnet)
Blood cultures will be processed without the need for telephoning. In cases of doubt, the on-call BMS may refer any request to the on-call Consultant Microbiologist for authorisation.
Reviewed December 2022
This page will be updated June 2023