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Sample packing

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

Samples need to be collected and packed into appropriate sample containers provided by the laboratory in order to maintain integrity. Attention needs to be given to temperature, special transport containers and time limitations. Each testing has a different sample requirement, which should be referenced prior to sample taking.

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
  • International air transport regulations
  • 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 (for example a substance that causes viral haemorrhagic fevers 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, UN3373.


Updated Monday, 20 November 2023