As I have been asked to retrieve samples for toxicology in many different ways, by many different Pathologists, I completed Jenny Button’s survey and read the subsequent presentation with interest (http://www.aaptuk.org/go/media:news,209).
The results showed what I already suspected – that there is wide variation between sampling sites, techniques and media, however, there also seems to be differences between what individual receiving labs require from their source establishments. With this in mind I contacted the Consultant Clinical Scientist at the NHS laboratory where we send 99.9% of our post mortem toxicology, to ask if she would be willing to write up a document that laid out exactly what they wanted from us. She was, and produced an excellent document that can be used by us as a reference guide, ensuring we send them the best quality samples possible.
Your receiving laboratory may have different requirements, but I thought it may be useful to share our document – either for you to use as a reference, or as a basis to request something similar from your local lab.
Mortuary Manager & AAPT Vice-Chair