To ensure optimum testing conditions for a specimen that is sent to University of Colorado Hospital Reference Laboratory, the client must determine two things:
- Determine the nature of the specimen to be sent, using the definitions below.
- Determine the temperature at which the specimen must be maintained during transport, using instructions for individual tests listed in the Test Catalog.
University of Colorado Hospital – Clinical Lab
12401 E. 17th Avenue, Room 253
Aurora, CO 80045
Nature of Specimen to be Transported
Exempt Human Specimens: A clinical specimen (blood, secreta, tissue, tissue fluid) known to contain a Risk Group I agent or not known to contain, or suspected to contain, a pathogen from Risk Group II, III, IV or a Biological Substance, Category B in which the pathogen has been neutralized or inactivated to it cannot cause a disease when exposure to it occurs.
Biological Substances, Category B: Any human or animal material, including excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluids, being transported for diagnostic or investigational purposes, but excluding live infected humans or animals. Note: specimens known to originate from patients with a Risk Group II or II pathogen should be shipped as Biological Substances.
The following Biological Substance Shipping Guidelines (IATA Packing Instructions 650) are to be utilized.
- A watertight primary receptacle.
- A watertight secondary receptacle.
- An absorbent material placed between the primary receptacle and the secondary receptacle.
- A sturdy outside packaging constructed of corrugated fiberboard, wood, metal or plastic.
Specimen from Patient with Known or Suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob or Other Prion Disease:
- Labeling: Specimens must be CLEARLY AND PROMINENTLY labeled as to the potential hazard. The specimen container and the request form must be labeled with the hazard warning “R/O CJD” or “R/O Prion Disease”.
- Packaging: Follow the guidelines above for packaging of Biological Substances adding EXTRA PRECAUTIONS.
- EXTRA PRECAUTIONS require that the specimen is placed in a tertiary container that is able to withstand rough handling. A 95 kPa bag or container is recommended. If one is not available, a screw-top container or extra padding is acceptable.
- Transport: Use shipping containers specifically manufactured for packaging and transport of biological substances.
- Rejection of Specimens: In the interest of safety, specimens that have been improperly labeled, packaged, or transported may be rejected.
Frozen (Dry Ice) Shipments: A minimum of 2 lbs (1kg) of dry ice should be used depending on weather conditions. Be aware that dry ice is a dangerous good and must always be declared by marking, labeling and documentation. If there are no other dangerous goods in a shipment with dry ice, a formal Shipper’s Declaration is not required. Refer to IATA packing instruction 904.
Note: Each laboratory is responsible for implementing procedures that comply with the regulations set forth by the DOT and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
All client specimen transportation will be managed according to the established procedure between the client and the Clinical Laboratory at University of Colorado Hospital.