Pathlab provide both the Puritan Opti-Swab and Copan eSwab, liquid Amies collection and transport systems. They are almost identical in appearance, feature a flocked swab, are designed for ease of collection, and subsequent laboratory processing on automated platforms. They maintain viability of aerobic, anaerobic and fastidious bacteria for up to 48 hours, (gonorrhoea up to 24 hours), at room and refrigerator temperatures.
In recent months we have seen an increase in incorrectly utilised swabs that results in errors and subsequent down time for the automated Microbiology instruments. The main reason for this is swabs that do not have their handles broken at the clearly marked breakpoint on the swab handle.
The swab and lid are designed with a special swab capture system. After collecting the specimen, place the swab inside the vial and break the handle at the breakpoint, (please do NOT cut the swab handle with scissors). The broken off handle is discarded; the cap is replaced and tightly secured. If the swab handle is broken or cut above the breakpoint it either does not seat properly in the lid or the swab shaft is bent. Both scenarios will result in laboratory instrument errors.
We would like to thank you for supporting us in this matter as it assists in maintaining smooth and efficient specimen processing.