Package and transportation of samples
Samples taken at central site must be sent with the
porter and not via the pneumatic tube.
Synovial fluid samples requiring transport on the public road
must be packaged and transported in compliance with "The Carriage
of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment
Regulations (ADR Regulations) 2011". Specimens must be packaged
according to P650 instructions with a UN3373 diamond point label -
Substance, Category B.
Please note instructions P650 requires three layers of
- Primary container (e.g. universal tube, vial)
- Secondary container (e.g. specimen bag)
- Outer packaging (e.g. rigid transport box).
The primary sample must be individually bagged in a secondary
bag and sealed. If the sample is liquid, enough absorbent material
must be added to the secondary bag to absorb a potential spillage
of the sample. The request form must be placed in the specimen
bag's separate pouch.
Specimens must then be placed in a rigid box and closed. The box
must comply with Transport Regulations. The outside must be clearly
labelled Biological Substance Category B, with a UN3373 diamond
label. The laboratory address should be clearly written.
If a sample is sent by post, please note that Royal Mail will
only carry UN3373 Diagnostic Specimens if they are packed following
Packaging Instruction P650 and:
- Are sent by first class post or Special Delivery and to inland
- The packet is marked with the sender's name, telephone number
Specimens must be delivered to the laboratory within 24
hours. If there is unavoidable delay in sending the specimen,
please keep it refrigerated at 4°C.
If possible send specimens on the first 4 working days of the
week as the laboratory is not open at weekends.
If sepsis is suspected and the laboratory receives a telephone
call in advance then an urgent specimen will be processed if it
arrives before 16:00hrs. Other urgent samples must arrive before
13:30hrs to be processed on the same day.
(Last updated June 2nd 2016)