What do I do if the Custody Control Form seals tear?
It is not uncommon for the tamper evident seals on the Custody Control Form to tear when removing them from the CCF or applying them to the specimen vials. So, what do you do if the tamper seals from the CCF tear? There are two common scenarios that require different solutions.
Scenario One: Seals tear when removed from the CCF
If the seals tear as you remove them from the CCF and before you apply them to the specimen vials, you must start a new CCF and copy the information from the first CCF onto the new one. Next, apply the seals from the new CCF onto the specimen vials and discard the first CCF. Because the first CCF has sensitive donor information, we recommend shredding the old form. Continue the collection process as normal.
Scenario Two: Seals tear when applied to the vial
But what do you do if the seals tear as you apply them to the specimen vials or soon after? This scenario is a bit trickier and requires a couple of extra steps. As you recall from your specimen collector training, it is considered a fatal flaw if you send a specimen vial with a breached seal to the laboratory for testing. Doing so cancels the test. In order to protect the integrity of the specimen and collection process, new seals must be applied to the specimen vials. Here are the proper steps for resolving this challenge.
Do not pour the specimen into new vials. Instead, start a new CCF and copy the information from the first CCF onto the new one. Remove the seals from the new CCF and apply them to the specimen vials so they are perpendicular to the old seals. Placing the new seals perpendicular to the old seals will form a T or X. Place the new seals so they do not cover the old seals. If both specimen vials were labeled with seals from the first CCF, you must relabel both vials with new seals so they match the specimen ID number from the new CCF. Cross out the specimen ID number on the old seals. Don’t forget to have the donor initial and date the new seals. Document the reason for the new seals in the remarks section of the new CCF. A remark example could be, “seals from the 1st CCF torn when applied”…or something similar. Discard the first CCF and send copies of the second CCF to the lab, MRO and employer.