Urgent Testing

Service: an on-call service to detect many viruses is offered 24/7 to inform important clinical management or public health decisions. This is accessed through the VIDRL on-call medical officer on 0438 599 437. Back-up is the VIDRL on-call laboratory manager 0438 599 439.

Tests: these tests are routinely offered urgently on request . Occasionally other urgent out of hours testing can be arranged through the VIDRL on-call medical officer, depending on circumstances and out of hours availability of suitably expert staff.

Turnaround time (TAT): for most nucleic acid tests tests turnaround is within 3 hours of specimen receipt. When high-containment laboratory processing is required TAT will be longer.

Specimen selection and transport: follow specimen selection guidelines for the appropriate test in the VIDRL test handbook . Transport should be to VIDRL by the fastest means possible: urgent courier or taxi, not routine transport. Please confirm specimen dispatch by telephoning the VIDRL on-call medical officer. This facilitates call-in of VIDRL scientific staff and shortens TAT.

Shipping: IATA compliant packaging (see IATA website for more details) should be used for all interstate or international referrals.  An experienced courier should be used.  The shipping address is:

Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)
Doherty Institute
792 Elizabeth St
Melbourne
Vic.   3000
t: 0438 599 439

Specimen dropoff: All specimens and small parcels delivered to VIDRL after 5:30 pm and at weekends should be deposited in the specimen delivery box located on the Grattan St face of the Doherty Institute (see site map and photo). For large packages please contact the VIDRL on-call manager – 0438 599 439

Liaison for results: please ensure a telephone number (mobile or landline guaranteed to be manned) is included with specimen paperwork to ensure results can be communicated urgently to those who need them.