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Obstetrics: Women presenting in labour

Communicable Diseases Screening Tests

The process for women arriving in labour:

In those rare cases that a women presents for the first time in labour, contact the laboratory as early as possible (Tel: 38722 / 0141 201 8722) to arrange emergency testing for communicable diseases. Even intrapartum diagnosis can significantly, positively modify neonatal outcome therefore it is important to ensure women are offered screening tests.

Out of hours the on-call virologist should be contacted through the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Switchboard Tel: 0141 211 4000.

The process if an unbooked woman arrives in labour and the normal PNBS system cannot be used:

• Seek informed consent to test for HIV, Rubella, Syphilis and hepatitis B.

• Contact the laboratory as above

• Fill one 9ml purple topped EDTA bottle and send this with a virology request form, clearly indicating which tests (HIV, Rubella, Syphilis hepatitis B) are to be carried out. Even if a woman does not consent to all four tests, please fill one 9ml purple or pink topped EDTA bottle. Do not send two 5ml bottles, or other combinations to make up to 9 ml, the machines in the lab won’t accept them and the sample will not be processed.

• Marked the sample as ‘EMERGENCY’. It is important to discuss the delivery arrangements (please see delivery details below) and to whom the results should be communicated.

• Maternity services must provide the laboratory with adequate contact details to include the name and preferably two contact numbers of the main results recipient and a deputy plus the location of the patient.

• If the timing of the local transport systems is unsuitable it will be necessary to use alternative transport e.g. follow the NHSGGC Amended Protocol Ordering and use of taxis and couriers (October 2011.)

• 08:45-17:00 (Monday-Friday) samples should be delivered to:

West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre,
Level 5, New Lister Building,
Glasgow Royal Infirmary,
10-16 Alexandra Parade,
Glasgow, G31 2ER.

• Between 17:00 and 08:45 Monday-Friday and all weekend, urgent samples should be dropped off at the Wishart Street Emergency Admissions entrance of the Princess Royal Maternity. For instructions please see

• As with ALL emergency blood tests ensure results are followed up immediately they are available

• Communication with paediatricians is essential as their management may be significantly altered by these results

• Note that provided a CHI number is supplied, the results will also be available on the Clinical Portal.