Ever since the Coronavirus has spread to nearly every country on the globe, scientific researchers have been working hard to better understand this new virus, contain its spread worldwide and, most importantly, find a cure for it. In addition to important safety guidelines and precautions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued several guidelines regarding infectious disease specimen collection, as well as handling and testing the clinical specimens from persons for COVID-19 .
It is worth mentioning that with regards to testing for COVID-19, the CDC advises healthcare providers to utilize their best judgement in order to decide who should get tested for COVID-19. Also, in terms of priority, CDC suggests prioritizing testing for hospital patients who have a fever or acute respiratory illness symptoms, such as difficulty breathing and coughing, older adults with underlying chronic medical conditions, as well as healthcare providers who traveled to regions that affect or who were in contact with a COVID-19 patient.
According to the CDC, infectious disease specimen collection is considered to be the most imperative step in the lab diagnosis of an infectious disease. In order to collect COVID-19 specimens, the CDC recommends collecting upper respiratory nasopharyngeal swabs. Although oropharyngeal specimens are considered an acceptable type of specimen, the CDC now recommends collecting only the nasopharyngeal specimen. During the COVID-19 specimens collection procedure, a synthetic fiber swab with a wire or a plastic shaft is utilized. The swab is inserted through the nostril until resistance is encountered, which indicates contact with the nasopharynx. The swab is then gently rubbed and rolled and is left for a few seconds so that it can absorb the secretions.
Understanding the current urgency of coronavirus testing, as well as the challenges the supply chain is currently facing, Path-Tec (The Specimens Management Experts) has partnered up with a variety of manufacturers to provide several options to their clients and to support hospitals and labs that already started coronavirus testing. Path-Tec’s current client support solutions include COVID-19 specimen collection kits, inventory management, supply and specimen shipping, as well as technology for client management.
Our COVID-19 specimen collection kits include the box and the UN 3373 box label, a medium prefill, a swab, a 95 kPa biohazard bag, a 50 ml absorbent, the patient label, as well as the UN 3373 labpak and the lot number label. With respect to the specimen and supply logistics, Path-Tec offers laboratory logistics solutions to effectively manage specimens from the moment of pick up through delivery. These solutions include, but are not limited to, a dedicated team that ensures supply and specimen delivery, a real time courier and carrier specimen tracking, as well as low supply transport costs.
Since COVID-19 samples are considered as infectious substances, they follow category b shipping guidelines. Category b shipping is followed for substances that are infectious but that do not cause a permanent disability, a fatal or a life threatening disease to humans or animals upon exposure. Nonetheless, category b substances must be triple packaged.
If your lab has any questions about the proper specimen collection processes during this pandemic, please contact us at Path-Tec today.