Preparing the Specimen

Preparing the Specimen for Transport

Your patient depends on you to properly prepare the specimen for transport to the lab, helping to ensure that specimen integrity is maintained during transport.

Prepare the Specimens for Transport

  • Use Universal, Standard Precautions as required by the OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen Standard.
  • Package specimens in a leak-proof container known as the primary container, such as the test tube or urine cup.
  • The primary container should be enclosed in a secondary, leak-proof container such as a specimen bag.
  • Absorbent material sufficient to absorb the entire contents of the inner packaging must be included in the secondary container.
  • Place the unfolded requisition form in the bag facing outward.
  • Determine the infectious nature of the specimens to be transported. Also determine if other materials are present that the DOT may consider hazardous, such as formaldehyde or dry ice.
  • Store at the temperature indicated for that specimen according to the test specifications.

Items that Cannot Be Transported

For safety reasons, PeaceHealth Laboratories is prohibited by law to transport:

  • Leaking specimens
  • Specimens with needles attached or sharps in any form
  • Specimens not placed in secondary containers (PeaceHealth Laboratories bags)
  • Waste of any kind


Packaging and transport of clinical samples, biological substances and infectious specimens must comply with applicable Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49, Department of Labor CFR 29, Postal Services CFR 39, Department of Health and Human Services CFR 42 and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Universal Precautions are to be applied to all specimens in accordance with Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Codes Subdivision I and Z: Personal Protective Equipment (29 CFR 1910.132 – 1910.140), Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030).

PeaceHealth Laboratories