GLL Laboratory Faux Pas, Do’s and Don’ts

GLL Laboratory Faux Pas, Do’s and Don’ts

 Tuesday, December 19, 2017 |  Views:597 |  Posted by: Michelle Volk |  Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 50 Seconds |  Article Tags: 

Over the years as drug trends and agencies ebb and flow, there are things that are common questions, misnomers and/or faux pas that are addressed to the laboratory on a consistent basis. You may have been wondering some of this yourself. 

1. Are you SAMHSA approved? – Great Lakes Labs is certified by the Department of Health and Human Services under CLIA. While both certifications are widely accepted, there are a few differences. If you are a government agency, counseling center, or private firm you and you are not a participant in DOT, FAA, USCG, and/or federal employee regulations, you do NOT NEED to utilize a laboratory that is SAMHSA certified. CLIA certification is just as valid and holds the same respectable and reliable qualities. In fact, our protocols follow the similar guidelines. 

2. I need synthetic testing. A large majority of drugs are considered synthetic. (Synthetic Definition)  When you ask for synthetic testing, this could include a list of hundreds of drugs. We are sure you would not like the price tag if all were analyzed. A few guidelines to remember:  
1.    Be specific. If you mean synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic cathinones, say so. Otherwise, it may delay the timing of analysis.
2.    Not sure what you are looking for? Contact lab personnel for further discussion, which will enable our facility to assist in clarification. 
3.    Synthetic Opiates are not all the same. Fentanyl, Methadone, Buprenorphine, and many of the Fentanyl analogs have stand alone assays and a standard opiate panel will not include any of these. 

3. I want LSD testing. Can you add that to the panel? We would be more than happy to add LSD analysis. However, LSD is so light sensitive that it begins to degrade almost immediately if not covered in aluminum foil. Amber bottles (light in color where liquid is still visible), wrapping in paper towel, storing in a brown paper bag are not acceptable submissions and will lead to lab rejections. (Helpful hint: most dollar stores now carry the pop-up boxes of aluminum foil that contain 10 -20 sheets.) 

4. Rejected Samples – Since we treat EVERY sample as if it is going to court, there are universal precautions that are taken to protect the laboratory, the agencies we serve and the sample donor. There are few new additions that have some of you asking “Why?”  
1.    Test Not Performed – if you see this on a report, something was physically wrong with the sample itself. In most cases, the Creatinine level was below laboratory standards. Another reason for this rejection is the chain of custody is not intact. This includes a broken or missing tamper resistant seal, omitted signatures, or the chain of custody bar code number does not match the sample bar code.  
2.    Quantity Not Sufficient for analysis – The average amount of urine needed for analysis is 10 ml. However, in the cases of multiple confirmations or esoteric testing such as Synthetic Cannabinoids, it is best to send at least 30 ml. If you cannot, the laboratory procedure is to perform the tests that can sustain the volume sent. 
3.    Drug Tests to Be Performed – Lab technicians are really nice folk, but they tend to be picky when chain of custody forms do not state what test is to be performed.  Believe it or not, it happens A LOT! If you receive notification that your selection was left blank, here is your next step:  
1.    Contact us in writing. Simply email or fax us (Best option is to use the report and write selections on it) the drug selection you require. We no longer accept verbal requests for test selection. 
2.    Contact us promptly. Our laboratory storage fills up pretty quickly with samples that did not request a drug. We allow 5 business days from the day you were notified to contact us with your selection. 
3.    Don’t forget. We know it sounds simple, but when you are in the hustle and bustle of your day it is easy to bypass this section. Before you seal up the sample, make sure you have marked the drug(s) to be analyzed.

For other information or questions about any of the items above, please contact the laboratory.

Michelle Volk

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