The PharmChek® Sweat Patch is designed to provide a minimally invasive drug testing system that offers court-supported, dependable detection of eight of the most common drugs of abuse. And with the Expanded Panel, today’s most dangerous substances can also be detected, providing a comprehensive testing solution for courts, probation requirements, parole officers, and workplaces.
What Is The Sweat Patch?
The Sweat Patch utilizes an absorbent pad to capture insensible perspiration—the uncontrolled loss of sweat from the skin—in an absorbent pad. Approximately 300–700 mL of insensible sweat is excreted each day, and about 2mL is absorbed in the patch each week. The semi-permeable polyurethane film allows small molecules, such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor to pass through the patch, leaving the skin underneath healthy and sterile.
When an individual uses drugs, the chemical components of the drugs enter the body and metabolize throughout. Some of the metabolites, as well as the parent drug in trace amounts, make it to the skin via sweat. The Sweat Patch sits on top of the skin, where the absorbent pad can collect sweat samples from the time of application until its removal and collection.
How Is The Sweat Patch Used?
When attention to detail and confidence in results are crucial, the Sweat Patch meets and exceeds the demands of any agency or company in need of accurate drug testing. The strict chain of custody process, detailed documentation, and rigorous standards of lab testing sets PharmChek®’s reputation far above other testing options.
How the Sweat Patch is Applied
The high standard for our Sweat Patch starts with its application. Before applying the Sweat Patch, the trained observer must clean the application area—typically the upper arm—with an alcohol wipe. The Sweat Patch is then applied by the trained observer. The absorbent pad is held in place with the adhesive polyurethane film. This tamper-evident membrane allows the Sweat Patch to be worn continuously for up to seven to ten days. The optional PharmChek® Overlay can be applied to extend the wear period, which can vary depending on the individual.
Sample Collection Without Hassle
During the sample collection process, the wearer does not need to change any daily activities but must still treat the patch with care. The polyurethane overlay can be worn while the wearer showers, exercises, works, and sleeps. The wearer does not have to sacrifice daily routines to maintain an uncontaminated sample, minimizing the hassle that most drug tests require.
Removal of the Sweat Patch
When the required collection period ends, the wearer returns to the collection center for removal. The trained observer examines the Sweat Patch for any damage or abnormalities, making note of any potential attempts to tamper with the membrane or pad.
The wearer begins peeling the membrane away from the skin, starting at the corner. Once the absorbent pad is exposed, the trained observer grips it with a pair of one-time-use tweezers while removing the remainder of the membrane. The observer then removes the pad, examining it and the membrane for any signs of damage, including puncture marks, cuts, or tears in the Sweat Patch’s components.
Submission of Sample and Chain of Custody
Using the tweezers, the trained observer then places the pad in the provided sample bag, closing the bag with a security seal. The seal has a printed barcode and number that matches the serial number of the chain of custody form. From here, the sample is mailed to the exclusive testing laboratory for PharmChek®. This chain of custody has met several court requirements for adequate documentation, so test results are reliable.
Lab Testing and Results Reporting
The sole testing laboratory for PharmChek® is CRL. Its stringent inspection protocol prior to any testing beginning guarantees the sample is uncontaminated. If there is any sign of tampering, contamination, or damaged or opened security seals, the lab rejects the sample as unreliable for testing.
If the sample is determined reliable for testing, the lab then analyzes the sample for evidence of drug use. The immunoassay testing process also uses a two-step verification that requires the presence of both the parent drug and the metabolite for cocaine and methamphetamines, whereas most drug tests only identify the metabolites of these drugs.
When a positive result is detected and confirmed through both the immunoassay and the LC/MS/MS tests, the reporting party receives the test results through an encrypted web portal.
From application to removal to testing, the chain of custody is kept completely secure through detailed documentation, specific protocols for all steps of the testing and submission, and strict security standards at the CRL lab. Along with the minimal intrusion on the wearer’s privacy and schedule, the PharmChek® Drugs of Abuse Sweat Patch offers a superior solution for your drug testing needs.