NVRL Urgent Testing Protocol (during routine working hours)

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The NVRL processes over 700,000 tests annually and endeavours to report all results in an appropriate timely manner. A guide to routine sample turn-around times is in the user manual available here. Please do not request urgent processing of a sample unless the results will definitely or most likely affect the immediate management of the patient. Not all tests are scheduled to be performed on a daily basis and processing urgent requests can have a considerable impact on the normal routine of the laboratory, resulting in unnecessary delay to many other tests.

To aid the NVRL in identifying specimens which are deemed clinically urgent users are requested to follow the urgent testing protocol. Please note it is not sufficient to write urgent on the request form.

1: Contact the NVRL prior to sending the sample.

If a sample is deemed urgent please contact the NVRL clinical team PRIOR to sending the sample. This facilitates identification of these samples on arrival in the laboratory. It takes considerable time and effort to identify samples which have been received in the NVRL without advance notification.

Please telephone 01 716 4401/4418.

Alternatively faxed requests should be sent to 01 2697611

Please include the following information on each fax.

Name of patient.      Source of Referral.      Sample Types.       Tests requested           Date of sample

Reason for urgent processing         Name and contact details of requesting clinician.

It is ESSENTIAL that these contact details are accurate and a designated person is available to discuss the request as further information may be required before the sample is processed as urgent.

2: Sending an urgent sample

Request Form

Please provide relevant clinical details on the request form.  This will aid in interpretation of results and provide guidance for appropriate test selection.


Please ensure urgent samples are clearly identified particularly when they are included in routine delivery boxes (which can contain hundreds of samples). Urgent samples should be packaged in a separate container/envelope and clearly marked as URGENT on the external packaging and request form.


It is imperative that samples are received in the NVRL as soon as possible to facilitate urgent testing.  Please note some assays can take several hours to complete and due to the nature of the tests involved same day results may not always be possible.

3: Result reporting

It is ESSENTIAL that contact details are provided for results to be telephoned when required.  Please be aware that results of assays may not be available until after 5pm therefore, contact details for out of hours reporting should be provided on all samples considered clinically urgent.