A sample that has been given by a patient is precious. It has unique and special information that relates directly to them. Even waste from our human body has value. It has value for the information that it provides, but it also has value from the moment it leaves the patient and takes its journey of examination and checks to establish a patients’ diagnosis.
Let us use an example of a urine sample leaving a doctors’ surgery from an elderly patient who has had pain in their back. Let us consider the journey that sample takes. If we then look at the information that sample may have about that patient it is of immense value to them as they want to know if they need some treatment.
As clinicians it is also valuable as with all clinicians they look and want to be sure that the patient receives the correct treatment for their illness. Meanwhile the urine continues its journey to a laboratory for testing. It is booked into the site and then taken in and out of a variety of machines for the range of tests.
It may be stored for a while if the lab has to process a large number of samples. It has to be checked for contamination or bacteria and disease.
Waste product? It strikes me that by now it is liquid gold!
Out of sample of urine (we usually flush down the toilet) we have a whole process that takes place. We can see that it costs money, time and energy but more importantly, it potentially costs life.
It really is liquid gold.
If we consider the journey that the urine sample has to take and then apply the cold chain to this we realise just how different the results could be for the final result for the patient, and why temperature monitoring systems are a crucial element of research.
So my conclusion for this example I suspect answers itself.
Protect those samples……
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