Arrange a courier pick-up before drawing blood
Optimally, blood samples should arrive within 24 hours after being drawn. Collection by a courier should be booked before the blood is drawn, so the sample can be sent as soon as possible.
Send the right amount of blood
MELISA needs at least 3.6ml of blood for each metal tested
- For up to 5 metals, send 18ml of blood. This means 4 x 4.5ml tubes or 2 x 9 ml tubes.
- For 6 to 10 metals, send 36ml of blood. This means 8 x 4.5ml tubes or 4 x 9 ml tubes.
- For 11 to 15 metals, send 54ml of blood. This means 12 x 4.5ml tubes or 6 x 9 ml tubes.
- For 16 to 20 metals, send 72ml of blood. This means 16 x 4.5ml tubes or 8 x 9 ml tubes.
If you are testing children, a smaller volume may be needed as children have a denser lymphocyte count. Please check with the laboratory for more details.
Use citrate tubes
Samples for MELISA testing must be sent in citrate tubes. These are Becton-Dickinson or Greiner Vacutainer tubes containing sodium citrate, with a sterile interior and a light blue lid.
Do not centrifuge, do not chill
The blood will be centrifuged on arrival at the laboratory. It must be sent at room temperature; chilled blood cannot be used in MELISA testing.
Mark the envelope correctly
Put the tubes in a small box approved for shipping of non-infectious diagnostic samples. Include enough padding to make sure the tubes will not break. To protect the sample from heat and cold, a Styrofoam/polystyrene box should be used. Label the parcel with two instructions: “Keep at room temperature – do not chill”. Also indicate that the parcel should be delivered immediately – “Urgent Delivery”.