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Pap Smears

The Pap smear is a screening test effective in the detection of pre-malignant changes of the uterine cervix.  Repeated periodic testing and follow up of results are essential due to the occurrence of false negative results.  False negative results may occur due to sampling errors, screening difficulties inherent to the method or due to the subjective interpretation of the cellular changes in the smear.  Similarly, false positive results may also occur.

For positive identification, the name of the patient MUST be provided. For Liquid Based Paps, it must be clearly written on the vial.

Specimen Labeling Requirements

  1. Always label samples at the time of collection in the presence of the patient.
  2. Use a minimum of two patient identifiers on every sample submitted for testing.
  3. Required patient identifiers include Patient Full Legal Name (First and Last) AND at least one additional identifier:
    • Patient Date of Birth (DOB) or
    • Social Security Number or
    • Numbered Requisition Label

For your convenience, Legacy requisitions have adhesive labels printed with a unique identifying number. Please print the patient's full legal name on this label and attach to the specimen. Last name and first initial are not acceptable.

Please include the source of the specimen on the requisition form.

Specimens will be rejected and returned to the originating site if the following conditions apply:

  1. Specimen is submitted without a requisition.
  2. Requisition is received without a specimen.
  3. The patient name or other identifying information on the specimen and requisition do not correspond.
  4. The specimen is labeled appropriately but the requisition is not labeled.
  5. The specimen has completely leaked out of the specimen container
  6. A specimen is submitted from an unauthorized source.

Please refer to the documents listed below for detailed instructions on how to properly collect a cervical cytology specimen.

Clinical history is extremely important for proper evaluation. Complete the clinical history portion of the Legacy Laboratory Services Requisition as fully as possible - age, LMP, previous abnormal Pap or cervical cancer.