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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Cerebrospinal Fluid. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Safety Precautions

Cerebrospinal fluid is a potentially infectious material and standard precautions must be followed.

These guidelines apply:
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Semi-automatic micropipettes and disposable plastic counting chambers are the safest option for manual CSF counts.
  • If disposable materials are not used, soak contaminated reusable pipettes, hemocytometer, and coverslip in 70% alcohol or other disinfectant that is approved for this purpose by your laboratory.
  • All disposable items must be placed in a biohazard container for appropriate disposal.
  • Wash hands thoroughly upon completion of the CSF analysis.
  • Spinal fluid samples that will be discarded must be placed in biohazard containers for appropriate disposal.