Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Specimens in Vials and Labeling Vials

Specimens in Vials.

The following procedures are recommended for shipping vials:

  1. Fill each vial with liquid preservative. Stopper tightly by holding a pin or piece of wire between the vial and the stopper to permit air or excess fluid to escape, then remove the pin or wire. Make certain that cork stoppers do not have defects that will allow leakage. Screw-top vials should be firmly closed and sealed with a turn and a half of plastic adhesive tape or Parafilm around the lower edge of the cap and part of the vial.
  2. Wrap each vial with cotton, tissue, paper toweling, or similar material. Allow no piece of glass to come into contact with another piece of glass. Several vials may be wrapped together or held with tape or rubberbands as a unit, or they may be placed in a small cardboard box with enough packing to insure that they are not shaken around

Labeling Vials

Material in fluid should be accompanied by a single label large enough to include all data. The label should be written with a moderately soft lead pencil or in India ink and well dried so that it will not dissolve or run when immersed in the liquid. Do not use a ballpoint or felt-tip pen. Hard lead pencil writing becomes illegible in liquid. Do not fold the label. Small specimens may be damaged or lost when the label is removed. Multiple labels or labels small enough to float around in the vial may also damage specimens, and when two labels lie face, they cannot be read. Always place labels inside the vial as there is the danger that if left outside a vial, regardless of the method or substance used to affix them, they may become defaced, destroyed, or detached.

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