Concerns About Necessity of Specimen Aliquoting

Manually performed DOA tests introduce several complications to the standard model of laboratory-centric testing. The first complication in the process of testing for drugs at the point of collection is aliquoting the specimen. Although aliquoting the specimen is standard procedure in the laboratory, there are standard operating procedures (SOP) and supervisory controls to reduce the potential for contamination of the forensic specimens. In the decentralized, point-of-collection model of DOA testing, there is little standardization in the method and procedures for aliquoting or handling of the original specimen. The sealed specimen must have its tamper-evident seal broken, and the specimen exposed to allow for the introduction of the aliquoting device. The introduction of a foreign object, such as a pipet, to obtain the aliquot in an uncontrolled environment, creates a potential legal challenge to the integrity of the specimen. This concern led to the invention of the testing cup, with its integrated test strips. The most evolved designs of the testing cup contain an inherent aliquoting feature built into the cup, to allow for specimen aliquoting of the test strips without destruction of the tamper-evident seal.

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