EDTA contamination in laboratory specimens-effect of an awareness campaign.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2010 Jun;20(6):405-7

Department Of Pathology, Combined Military Hospital, Peshawar.

Objective: To measure the effects of awareness campaign on the frequency of EDTA contamination.

Study Design: A cohort study.

Place And Duration Of Study: The study was carried out in Combined Military Hospital, Peshawar, from October to December 2008.

Methodology: A cohort of 200 doctors, nurses and paramedical staff involved in sample collection for laboratory investigations were selected for this three phased study. In all samples with plasma potassium level > 6.0 mmol/L, plasma Ca++ was measured for one month before, during and after a campaign of correct filling order of sample tubes for two weeks. Renal function test and LDH were also measured to rule out chronic renal failure and in-vitro haemolysis, respectively. Fisher's exact test was used for comparison of frequency of hyperhalemia.

Results: There was a significant decrease (75%, p < 0.01) in the cases of spurious hyperkalaemia and hypocalcaemia.

Conclusion: EDTA contamination is a common and important source of pre-analytical error which can be prevented to some extent by education of medical and nursing staff.

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http://dx.doi.org/06.2010/JCPSP.405407DOI Listing
June 2010
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