Everything You Need to Know About Transporting Blood and Specimens

Everything you need to know about transporting blood and specimens - Dropoff same-day delivery - Dropoff courier picking up samples from a hospital

When transporting blood and medical specimens, it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.

This begins by properly packaging the samples so they will not be damaged in transit.

You will also need to label them correctly and make sure you store them in a temperature-controlled environment.

Finally, you need to choose the right transportation method for your needs.

In this blog post, we will break down all of these steps so that you can transport your blood and medical specimens safely and securely.

1. What types of blood and specimens can be transported?

There are many different types of blood and specimens that can be transported, including:

Each type of sample has its own specific transportation requirements, so it is important to know what you are transporting and to follow the correct guidelines. Above we’ve provided some valuable links that will help you to understand government guidelines around a specific sample type.

For example, whole blood needs to be transported at a cool temperature in order to maintain its viability, while urine can be transported at room temperature. It is important to read the transportation instructions for each type of sample to ensure that it is handled correctly.

2. How to package blood and specimens for transport

Sample transport containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it is important to select the correct container for your specific sample.

There are a number of different types of medical specimen containers, including:

Each type of container has its own specific requirements, so be sure to select the correct container for your sample.

Examples of packages you might use to transport samples or blood
These containers are typically used for liquid samples as they are generally water-tight, but still allow for sample identification.
Supplies you might need to help you properlly package blood or specimens for transportation
These are examples of some of the equipment you might use to ensure the outside of the packaging remains dry.
More examples of equipment you might use to transport blood or specimens
Samples or specimens are then placed in another container that provides more protection from the elements.

Packaging your sample correctly helps to ensure that it arrives safely at its destination. You should always:

  • Use the correct type of container for your sample
  • Clearly label your sample with all the necessary information
  • Secure the lid or cap on the container
  • Pack samples in an insulated container with ice packs if necessary

3. Temperature requirements for transporting blood and specimens

When transporting blood samples, it is important to keep them cool but not frozen. The ideal temperature for blood samples is between two and eight degrees Celsius. In order to maintain this temperature, the samples must be packed in an insulated container with a cold pack.

Specimens that need to be transported at a colder temperature can also be accommodated. However, it is important to note that when transporting specimens below two degrees Celsius, dry ice must be used as the cooling agent instead of a cold pack.

Using dry ice can be dangerous if not done correctly. It’s important to consult with a medical transportation professional before attempting to transport specimens at this temperature.

When transporting medical samples, it is important to adhere to the proper temperature requirements in order to maintain their quality.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your samples will be transported safely and correctly.

4. Methods of transportation for blood and specimens

There are a few different ways to transport medical specimens, including:

When choosing a method of transportation, you should consider the time frame in which your sample needs to arrive, as well as the distance it will be traveling.

You should also take into consideration the type of sample you are transporting. Some medical samples, such as blood or tissue specimens, need to be transported at a certain temperature in order to remain viable.

Other medical samples, such as urine or stool specimens, can be transported at room temperature.

If you are transporting medical specimens by courier service, mail, or public transportation, be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the carrier.

Read some tips on how to choose a logistics partner for your needs.

When transporting medical specimens in your own vehicle, always use an appropriate container and pack it securely to prevent movement during transport.

5. Documentation required for transporting blood and specimens

It is also important to keep a copy of your medical transportation paperwork with you in case of an emergency. This paperwork will include information on the medical samples being transported, as well as your contact information.

The University of California put together a great resource for uniform specimen labeling requirements.

If you are transporting blood or other specimens across state lines, it is important to be aware of any additional regulations that may apply. Contact the Department of Transportation (DOT) for more information.

When working with medical couriers, you don’t need to worry about these requirements because the carrier will be expertly aware of all the requirements necessary for proper delivery.

Sample transport can seem like a daunting task, but with a little preparation, it can be easy and stress-free. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your medical specimens arrive at their destination safely and securely.

6. Hazards associated with transporting blood and specimens

There are several potential hazards associated with transporting blood and specimens. These include:

  • Biological hazards, such as bacteria or viruses that could be present in the specimen.
  • Chemical hazards, such as cleaners or disinfectants that may be used to clean the transportation container.
  • Physical hazards, such as sharp objects that could puncture the container.

When you are transporting blood or specimens, it is important to be aware of these potential hazards and take steps to protect yourself.

Wear gloves and a face mask to avoid contact with the specimen. If you must come into contact with the specimen, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

In addition, be sure to use a sturdy container that will not break or leak.

Be aware of the dangers associated with biological, chemical, and physical hazards, and take these precautions to avoid contact with the specimen.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

7. Tips for ensuring the safety of blood and specimens during transport

Checklist of things to know when transporting blood and specimens
These tips should be followed to guarantee safe transport, and should always be double-checked before packages leave their pickup area.

Here are just a few tips to ensure safety while transporting blood and specimens:

  • Ensure that all blood and specimens are properly labeled with the patient’s name, medical record number, and contact information in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.
  • Pack all materials in a sturdy container that can be easily transported.
  • Make sure that the transport vehicle is clean and free of contaminants.
  • Avoid exposing blood and specimens to extreme temperatures.
  • Do not shake or agitate blood or specimens during transport.
  • Follow all local, state, and federal regulations for the transport of blood and specimens.

If you are responsible for transporting blood or specimens, it is important to take measures to ensure the safety of the materials. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure the safety of everyone involved.

For more information on transporting blood and specimens, you can talk with one of our experts.

Dropoff works with hundreds of healthcare organizations all across the country, and we make thousands of blood and sample deliveries every single day. No matter what you need to be transported, Dropoff medical couriers have the experience, equipment, certifications, and expertise to guarantee quality delivery.


Medical sample transport is a critical part of the medical process.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your samples arrive safely and on time at their destination.

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