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What Not to Do

Here are a few photographic examples of PRA/monthly serum screen sample shipments gone awry. 

Not only are all of these cases unsafe for everyone involved, but each is clearly against federal and state regulations regarding proper shipping of clinical specimens. This could land your facility a hefty fine or worse.

Case #1


Someone put these glass tubes inside of this plastic case and then into a manila envelope before dropping it into a USPS mail box.  

Case #2



Six glass blood tubes inside a metal can with no packing or absorbent material.  There was broken glass and blood spatter everywhere.

Case #3


Grocery bags were used as packing material.

Please review the following information:

Shipping Hazardous Materials

Federal Regulations (49 CFR 172.704) require that all shippers must be trained and certified prior to doing any of the following jobs:

  • Preparing shipping documentation
  • Loading trucks
  • Marking and labeling packages
  • Filling packages
  • Accepting packages for shipment and/or supervising these activities

The International Air Transport Assoiation requires training every 2 years for shipments by air. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires training every 3 years. If you have not been trained or your training has expired, please contact your local human resources department.  

Fines and penalties may be imposed against universities, companies, and individuals who fail to comply with the applicable rules including proper classification, identification, packaging, marking, labeling, documentation and training.  

Failure to comply with federal and international regulations can result in refusal of the shipment by the airline, penalties of fines, jail or both. Hand carrying of infectious substances by air is strictly prohibited by law.

Quick Reference

HLA/Immunogenetics Lab


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HLA/Immunogenetics Laboratory
145 Kimel Park Dr., Ste 250
Winston-Salem, NC  27103-6972
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Last Updated: 07-25-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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