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‚ÄčProcedures for properly transporting samples

Specimens must be transported to the laboratory in a manner that ensures the sample integrity will not be compromised, as well as protecting the public and the environment from exposure to possible hazards from either the sample or the preservative.

Guidelines for handling and transporting samples to the lab

  • Properly label the container (not the lid) at the time of collection.
  • Ensure sample container lid is tightly sealed to prevent leakage during transport and handling.
  • Place container into a secondary leak-proof container such as a biohazard zip lock bag to contain spillage or breakage in the event of damage to the container.
  • Place requisitions accompanying the specimen in the pouch of the biohazard bag (separate from the specimen) to prevent contamination.
  • Specimens transported from outside the facility must be in a sturdy puncture-proof outer container and packaged according to the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) legislation.
  • Transport specimens within the acceptable time frame for analysis and at the required temperature.
  • Blood specimens should be delivered to the lab within 2 hours of collection or centrifuged as appropriate to prevent deterioration of the sample.

Refer to Anatomical Pathology or Cytology for more information regarding transportation and handling requirements for those specimens.

Things to remember

All samples must be properly labelled.

Information on both the requisition and the sample label must match.

One requisition per patient must accompany all samples collected at the same time.  For Anatomical Pathology, Cytology or Microbiology samples, clearly indicate site or container number (for multiple samples from the same site) on the container.

Include samples from only one patient and one testing department in each biohazard bag.  Do not put Microbiology and Anatomical Pathology or Cytology samples in the same bag.


MoH     PCQO