Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Maintaining Specimen Integrity – Purple Priority Bags

purple priority bagSpectrum Health Regional Laboratory supplies purple priority bags for specimens that must be handled and processed immediately upon receipt in the laboratory. The purple color priority transport bag will be a visual cue to the receiving laboratory that the specimens inside the bag need to be handled or processed immediately at the time of arrival in the laboratory or the integrity of the specimen will be compromised.

Use these bags for transporting specimens to the laboratory when:

  • Specimens are sent to the laboratory unspun or unprocessed
  • A specific test has time sensitive requirements

Examples: HIV-1 Quant RNA, Blood Cultures, ImmuKnow, Lymphocyte Proliferation to Mitogens Blood, Hepatitis B Virus DNA Quant, Hepatitis C virus RNA Quant, etc.

NOTE: These bags protect specimen integrity and are not for testing result escalation (Red STAT bags are to be used for immediate test result needs).

To request these transport bags, please mark “Purple specimen bag (priority)” on the Laboratory Supply Requisition and fax it to 616.774.7607

Spectrum Health Laboratory is committed to specimen integrity. Specimen integrity directly affects the quality of laboratory results. Specimen Transport Integrity guide is available in the online test catalog ( or via Spectrum Health Laboratory Courier Services. If you have further questions, please call the Laboratory Customer Service Call Center at 616.774.7721.

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