Test Tube Labels Must Retain Their Integrity When Wet

Test tubes are simple, glass tubes that are generally used to contain test samples of a medical or chemical nature. They are capped off with a plastic seal, a wax seal, or another type of seal that keeps them airtight so that airborne contaminants don’t taint the contents. Test tubes are also frequently placed on ice or in a freezer to preserve the integrity of the sample. Storing them at cold temperatures helps prevent gas from developing from organic materials in the sample.

The Wetness Test
Some research labs learn the hard way that it doesn’t pay to invest in cheap test tube labels whose paper, adhesive, or ink isn’t formulated to resist wetness. Placing test tubes in containers of ice makes them wet immediately, and even frozen test tubes commonly experience some level of condensation on their surface when they are removed from a storage freezer. When test tube labels aren’t impervious to wetness, it can easily cause the following undesirable situations.

Impossible to Differentiate Samples
For the sake of storage space and cost, test tube samples are often transported in batches. Once they reach the laboratory, they are separated into individual samples and stored accordingly. However, if the labels get wet and come off during transport, there may be no alternative but to attain the samples again and label them with water resistant test tube labels.

Samples Must be Reacquired
Reacquiring a sample from a patient has two major drawbacks: It makes the sample taker appear incompetent, and it often exposes the patient to physical pain. There are times when samples must be retaken strictly for medical reasons, such as to attain a cross-section of cells that reads better under a microscope. However, quality samples are usually taken correctly the first time. As long as their labels stay in place, they remain completely viable.

Testing Process Takes Longer
Reacquiring samples after test tube labels succumb to wetness prolongs the test process. Imagine a patient who awaits a test on brain cells after experiencing symptoms that could indicate a tumor, and he learns the sample must be recollected due to medical error. To say the waiting process would be grueling is an understatement. Taking the measure of using test tube labels that are impervious to wetness can prevent this type of situation from happening.

Operating Costs Unnecessarily Increase
When test tube labels fail and necessitate the sample to be reacquired, it increases the operating cost of the lab that performs the work. Depending on how the rework is processed financially, it may also have a delayed impact on the insurance premiums of the patient. They may seem small and insignificant, but high-quality test tube labels can indeed help mitigate medical costs.

See Our Selection of Test Tube Labels
Shamrock Labels is a leading supplier of test tube labels that resist wetness and cling to the test tube. If you have a special storage environment that requires labels with unique adhesive, paper, ink, etc., we’ll produce the custom product you need for test tube transportation and inventory. For assistance choosing test tube labels, call us today at (800) 323-0249.

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