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Sample packing

Samples need to be transported for subsequent processing and testing. Transport systems will be various and cover both long or short distances.

Samples need to be collected and packed into appropriate sample containers provided by the laboratory in order to maintain integrity of the sample(s). Attention needs to be given to temperature, special transport containers and time limitations.

Clinics, practices and laboratories who are posting or transporting samples by air, sea, rail and road between local, regional and reference laboratories, or between laboratories in other countries, must adhere to a number of regulations. These regulations are designed to deal with transportation accidents and spills, reduce biohazards and keep samples intact for testing.

Regulations are given by several sources including

  • National transport regulations
  • IATA
  • Rail and road traffic agencies
  • Postal services

Compliance is mandatory in order to reduce risk to couriers, carrier, laboratory staff and passengers.

Sample transport requirements are based on the category of samples being transported. Infectious substances are classified as Category A or Category B.

TDL does not arrange for transport of Category A samples (infectious substances capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease to humans or animals).

Instruction and packaging for Category B is provided, covering Biological Substances, UN number UN 3373.