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Specimen containers

Blood samples

Information for blood tube type can be found for individual tests in the A-Z.

You can also view the BD Tube Guide.

The vacutainer system is used in Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Please aim to fill specimen tubes completely.

Paediatric bottles are available for collecting smaller volume samples from children, including blood cultures (single bottle instead of two).

Never pour blood from one specimen container to another because transfer of inappropriate additives will cause misleading results.

If you have any queries, please contact us before collection.

Swab samples

Microbiology culture (MC&S)

∑-TRANSWAB® (MWE) (purple top)

∑-TRANSWAB® (MWE) (purple top): packet, tube and swab

  • NHS supply chain code: HHD260
  • This is the preferred swab type
  • Liquid-based multipurpose collection and preservation system for micro-organisms for culture.
  • Must be used for MRSA screening
  • Use for all wounds, skin, and surface swabs (including eye, ear, throat, HVS, CPE
  • (Note: break shaft before using for rectal swabbing)

Microbiology culture (MC&S)

Amies Transport Medium (black top)

Amies Transport Medium (black top): packet, tube and swab

  • NHS supply chain code: HHD070
  • Amies medium for the transport of micro-organisms for culture
  • Can be used as above for ∑-TRANSWAB®

Viral studies

COPAN UTM Kit (red top / green top)

COPAN UTM Kit (red top): packet, tube and swab

COPAN UTM Kit (green top): tube and swab

  • NHS supply chain code: HHD116
  • For collection and preservation of viruses for molecular testing / PCR
  • Throat swabs / NPA for Influenza / RSV / Respiratory virus panel (includes Mycoplasma)
  • Vesicle swabs for VZV / HSV (non-genital)
  • Eye swabs for Adenovirus, Chlamydia (non-genital)

NAAT for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and TV

NAAT for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and TV: tube and swab

  • BD molecular swab sample buffer tube (ref 443925)
  • Swab for clinician and patient taken sample

NAAT for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea

NAAT for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea: tube only

  • BD molecular urine sample buffer tube (ref 443924)
  • Urine collection set for male use only

Last reviewed:23 March 2023