Peripheral Blood Sample Requirements

Instructions for the Phlebotomist

We will need two tubes of sodium citrated blood, generally a light blue topped tube as pictured below. As these are vacuum type tubes (BD or similar brand) and are routinely available at pathology specimen collection facilities, OP will not send a collection kit.


Please gently invert the tube a few times to activate the anticoagulant. The tubes should be at least half filled. Please label the tubes with the patient's first and last name, date of birth, and date/time of collection.



NZ Patients

Patients requiring tests within NZ can have these collected at a pathology collection centre in their local area.

  • You will need to ask the Phlebotomist to collect these samples as above.
  • Samples should be kept at room temperature.
  • Samples should be placed in a pathology specimen bag along with the Mycobacterial Culture Sample Form.
  • Samples should be marked:
    • Attention: John Aitken & Otakaro Pathways Ltd.
      185 Kirk Road, Innovation Park
      Christchurch 7675
      New Zealand


Mailing the sample from outside NZ

Samples must arrive at our lab within 7 days to give the most accurate results. We've found that FedEx is the best courier from the United States to New Zealand. Samples should be kept at room temperature.

  • Samples need to be wrapped in absorbent material, like paper towel or tissues, and put in a leak proof container such as a Ziploc plastic bag.
  • The plastic bag should then be placed in a rigid plastic or cardboard container, such as a small box, with additional absorbent material for security. Please include the Test Request Form. Firmly tape the container closed.
  • Label or boldly write on the box: “Exempt - Human blood samples for diagnostic purposes - MPI exempt.”
  • Take the package to the closest courier location. For FedEx shipments, they provide a Clinical Pak and you will need to complete an International Air Waybill. The questions are fairly straight forward, but here are some tips from past patients: For question 3 Shipment Information, under Commodity Description, write "Human Blood - MPI Exempt. The Customs Value is $1.00. For question 7 Payment; duties and taxes can be billed to the recipient.
  • You will need to also fill out a standard Commercial Invoice form which will be provided. The questions are similar to those on the Waybill. The Consignee space can be completed with the address above, and the Importer space is "the same as the consignee." The space marked Description of Goods should be completed with "Human blood samples for diagnostic purposes - MPI Exempt." Again, the value is $1.00.
  • Further details about mailing blood samples are found online at FedEx:


Our mailing address is:

Attention: John Aitken & Otakaro Pathways Ltd.

185 Kirk Road, Innovation Park
Christchurch 7675
New Zealand

Phone (if requested): +64 3 341 2195


Obtaining your results:

Once the sample is received and prepared, the final determination is made at 30 days. Since this is a culture, it takes a little longer than most lab tests. We strive to provide you with the most accurate results possible.