Test information

Test information

For further information about specialised tests please choose from the items below:

Frozen sections

Canterbury SCL does not offer a 24/7 service for frozen sections, but we do have a pathologist on call to deal with unexpected events.

Requests for frozen sections must be booked in during normal business hours. These are between 0800-1700 Monday to Friday.

Please call 0275 507 030 to book for bookings and to arrange collection for routine frozen sections during business hours.

We require 30 minutes notice that the frozen section is imminent, to allow them to organise staff to stand by to collect the specimen.

Process summary:
a. Phone the Frozen Section line 027 550 7030 ahead of time to book
b. 30 minutes before the frozen section is going to be needed, telephone the same number to alert the Laboratory
c. When the sample is ready for collection phone the same number

There are occasions where frozen sections are required to be processed out of normal business hours. These occasions are infrequent (6 – 8 per year) and must be negotiated with Canterbury SCL on an individual basis.

When specimens are not ready at expected times (for example with the surgery schedule is running late), Canterbury SCL will ring the private hospital and enquire about the specimen.

On some occasions, a private surgeon may request a frozen section after hours. In such cases, the requester should always call Canterbury SCL’s 24 hour call centre on 03 359 0900. Call centre staff will contact the pathologist on-call and the pathologist may either accept the referral, or discuss alternatives with the surgeon.


Download our online test requisition form below:

Illumiscreen prenatal testing

Illumiscreen is our Non-invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), it is a blood test that screens pregnancies for chromosomal abnormalities including Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome.

NIPT has the highest accuracy for Down syndrome among the prenatal screening tests and can be performed anytime from 10 weeks pregnancy onwards.

The Illumiscreen test is available for both singleton and twin pregnancies and is the only NIPT processed end to end in New Zealand.

For further information visit www.illumiscreen.co.nz 

Cross match / group and hold

When samples for Cross Match or Group and Hold are collected the NZ Blood Service form must also be filled out and specific labelling requirements adhered to.

We recommend referring the patient to a Canterbury SCL blood collection centre where our staff are trained in these procedures.

Blood samples for pre-transfusion testing (Group and Hold or Cross Matching) should be taken no longer than 72 hours before the transfusion may be given (with the exceptions below). 

It is therefore crucial that any relevant information about transfusion or recent or current pregnancy is made available on the Canterbury SCL request form. 

Please note: “group and Rh” is a request for a blood group only and this sample cannot be used for cross matching. 

If transfusion is or may be needed, this should be requested in writing, as “Group & Hold” or “Cross Match n units” with a time and date.

If in doubt about the requirements, contact Blood Bank.

Clinical DetailsSample Validity
No history of transfusion or pregnancy within the last 3 months and this is expressly stated on the request form7 days
When a longer period is needed (for example when the timing of surgery is uncertain) and this is expressly requested at the time
and No history of transfusion or pregnancy within the last 3 months and this is expressly stated on the request form
21 days
All other cases or if no history is provided72 hours
Specimen stability guide
Antibiotic susceptibility profiles