Safe and hygenic collection and transportation of faecal matter and sample handling can be problematic. However with the right products, it’s possible to provide an assured service that meets regulatory standards.
Fe-Col papers provide a simple, easy-to-use, efficient and hygienic stool collection method. For patients they offer a quick, simple solution to a frustrating and potentially messy problem. For the laboratory testing the faeces, they prevent the risk of sample contamination, ensuring fewer test errors.
Faeces are tested for a variety of reasons, most commonly for the determination of the presence of bacteria or parasites, for fat content, for faecal occult blood which can indicate bowel cancer and for Calprotectin which can help discriminate between Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Unlike most other laboratory tests, stool samples are normally collected by the patient at home. However, many people find this collection process difficult, unpleasant and unhygienic to perform. Cling film, paper plates, and copious amounts of toilet paper are the most commonly used methods, but these are then difficult to dispose of and may cause plumbing blockages.
More than 50% of patients responding to screening take a stool sample directly from the toilet bowl. Sampling a stool from the toilet basin is technically difficult, but also creates potential measurement errors, due to loss of content from the stool into the surrounding water, or contamination from toilet sanitisers and toilet water additives.
The Fe-Col device has been developed to solve these problems: a unique, disposable stool collector, which is easily and securely placed on the toilet and can be totally flushed away after use.
Watch this video to find out more about easy-to-use Fe-Col:
SpeciSafe® is a unique packaging concept that makes patient sample packaging much less of a chore. SpeciSafe replaces the need for secondary packaging and combines the absorbent material and rigid container within a single piece.
Ultra Absorbent Lining Eliminates Leakage
The unique feature of SpeciSafe packaging products is an internally bonded super absorbent lining which soaks up any leakage in seconds. The material is so absorbent that 1m2 can soak up as much as 20 litres of liquid. Once the lining has absorbed its maximum amount of liquid, it becomes a watertight barrier and effectively seals the SpeciSafe pack preventing any leakage from the secondary container.
The lining is bonded to a rigid container moulded in a range of designs to fit perfectly around commonly used 95 kPa sample vessels. They include packs for single or up to ten sample containers covering the commonly used Urine, Blood, and Swab vessels, amongst others.
Some of the benefits of SpeciSafe for Calprotectin sample transportation:
Compliant to UN3373 regulations when used with 95kPa primary containers
Shock resistant primary container protection
Gel block built in absorbency – absolutely no leaks.
Visible spillage indication protects all users
Compliant flatpack design minimises postage costs
Inexpensive especially when compared to alternative options
View this video to find out more about the benefits of SpeciSafe:
In the modern medical environment, thousands of patient samples need to be transported from their point of collection, to a testing laboratory for analysis.
Getting things safely through the post can be problematic, so packing and mailing of patient samples needs careful handling and adherence to regulations.
Category B, faecal samples must be transported under guidelines issued by the World Health Organization using P650 packaging instructions, to UN3373 standards.
To date laboratory personnel have had to fashion various packaging solutions to meet the UN3373 requirements to transport patient samples. These include wrapping the primary container in an absorbent material, placing this in a sealed plastic bag and then putting all this into a rigid box. This requires multiple materials and can result in mailing packages being of considerable size, increasing the cost of postage.
Alternatively to ensure compliance faecal pots should be individually wrapped in absorbent and then placed in a secondary pouch.
If the primary container is not 95kPa compliant, then the pouch must be pressure tested to this level and there are different gauges of pouch specific for Road Transport and Air Transport. Using this format the outer packaging must be a rigid box.
4. Outer Packaging Solutions
UN3373 Labelled Envelope for Road Transport
Rigid Outer Boxes for Air or Road Transport
When using SpeciSafe® for road transport it can just be placed in a suitably labelled envelope for an economical solution.
Faecal Calprotectin is a new biomarker which is helping to save money for the NHS by preventing unnecessary procedures on patients by screening out patients with IBS who do not require endoscopies.
The symptoms of functional disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and organic inflammatory intestinal disease (IBD) can be very similar in presentation but are two very different medical conditions.