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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 27-31
Bioline Code: mj10029
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 27-31

 en The Effect of Delayed Transportation of Blood Samples on Serum Bilirubin Values in Neonates
Saththasivam, Poovendran; Voralu, Kirtanaa; Ramli, Noraida; Mustapha, Mohd Rafi; Omar, Julia & Rostenberghe, Hans Van


Background: Delays in transporting blood samples may cause inaccurate results. Samples may be exposed to light or heat during delays, resulting in the degradation of analytes, for example, bilirubin. This study was done to determine the effect of delays in the transportation of blood samples on serum bilirubin test results.
Methods: Samples taken from neonates admitted to a tertiary hospital with jaundice were included in the study. The samples were collected through venipuncture in 3 labelled containers. The first container was sent immediately to the laboratory, while the second and third containers were sent after being kept in the ward for 1 and 3 hours, respectively. Bilirubin values were measured colourimetrically at a wavelength of 578 nm using a Roche Hitachi 912 Chemistry Analyser upon arrival in the laboratory.
Results: A total of 36 serum samples were studied. The mean of the indirect bilirubin measurements for 0-, 1-, and 3-hour samples were 174 (SD 68.65), 186.97 (SD 60.47), and 184.56 (SD 66.93), respectively. There was a significant difference in the mean indirect bilirubin measurement of 1-hour samples (P = 0.047, 95% CI ˗24.66 to ˗1.18) and 3-hour samples (P = 0.045, 95% CI -19.77 to -0.23) compared with 0-hour samples. There were no significant differences observed in either the mean total bilirubin or the mean direct bilirubin measurements of different time intervals.
Conclusion: This study confirms that delays in the transportation of blood samples influence the bilirubin test results.

bilirubin, neonatal jaundice, transportation, time factors, specimen handling, medical sciences

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