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Malaria Smear

Item Value
Approval req'd? No
Available Stat? Yes, thin smear only
Test code P403M
Test group malaria
Performed by Microbiology, Parnassus & Mission Bay Hematology
In House Availability Stat: Daily, all shifts

Routine: Daily until 9:00 PM
Method Thick and thin Giemsa- or Wright's stained smears
Collection Instructions Deliver to lab within 1 hour of collection. If possible, samples from Moffitt-Long inpatients and ED should be walked directly to the STAT window in Clinical Lab Specimen Processing (5th floor Moffitt) by an attendant.

Order stat only if results required for immediate care decisions (e.g. patient extremely ill, potentially requiring admission or suspected of having cerebral malaria).

Note exact time of blood draw on sample and provide history of travel, residence, prophylaxis and/or therapy received before the specimen was obtained. Indicate if other parasites (e.g. Babesia) are suspected.

The optimal time to collect a specimen is midway between chills (before a fever spike is anticipated). If the first specimen is negative for malarial parasites, submit specimens q12-24h for 72 hours.
Container type Lavender top (Dark green top acceptable)
Amount to Collect 3 mL blood
Sample type EDTA whole blood (Heparinized acceptable)
Processing notes Microbiology (0700-2330) or Hematology (2330-0700) lab staff will make 4 thin and 4 thick smears to send to China Basin. Smears should be made within 1 hour of specimen collection. Enter code COMPRO in SREQ if >1 hour. Thin smears should be fixed with methanol (write "fixed" on slide). Do not fix thick smears. If test is ordered STAT, 2 additional thin smears should be made and delivered to Hematology to stain and read.

If thick smears are not dry when courier arrives, send thin smears to China Basin with note "Thick smears to follow."

Mt. Zion specimens should be sent to China Basin as soon as possible. Microbiology staff at China Basin will make smears.

Specimens should be refrigerated upon receipt at China Basin, once smears have been made.
Normal range Negative
Critical value Positive smear
Synonyms babesia; plasmodium sp; P. vivax; P. falciparum; P. malariae; P. ovale
Turn around times A preliminary report, based on the reading of one thin smear, is available within 2 hours for stats and 4-12 hours for routine samples. Thick smears are read Monday-Friday 0800-1500 hours only. Final report is sent after thick smears are read.
Additional information Will detect Babesia species. Other blood parasites may also be detected.

Delay in preparation of blood smears can decrease the sensitivity of the test.

Stats are read and a preliminary result is reported by Hematology. Stat examination of thick smears is NOT available.

For possible Babesiosis, see also entry under Babesia microti Antibodies.
CPT coding 87207
LOINC code 32700-7
Last Updated 1/23/2018 5:14:07 PM
Entry Number 639
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