Split Specimen

Last Updated: August 28, 2020

Definition - What does Split Specimen mean?

A split specimen is a method of quality control when testing for the presence of illegal drugs in a urine sample. When a sample of urine is collected from a donor, the sample is divided into two separate containers. One of the containers is submitted for testing and the other is held at the laboratory in the event that a second test is required at a later date.

WorkplaceTesting explains Split Specimen

When a split specimen urine drug test is performed and the first test is positive for the presence of drugs, the person being tested can request for a second test to be carried out, at a different laboratory, using the second container. The urine sample is then sent to the Medical Review Officer who follows a standard process involving the interviewing of the person and offering them the opportunity to submit the second container of urine to another laboratory for testing. The outcome of this test is then final.

Companies following Department of Transportation guidelines, as well as many employers not covered by DOT guidelines, use this method of testing to determine if a person is under the influence of drugs.

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