HLA/Immunogenetics Lab

What Not to Do

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.


What not to do!
Case #1: Someone put these glass tubes of blood inside of this thin plastic case and then into this manila envelope before dropping into a U.S.P.S. mail box. Please don't do this!
What not to do!What not to do!

Case #2: Six glass blood tubes inside of a metal can—no packing or absorbent material.

Q: What’s wrong with this picture aside from the broken glass and blood splatter everywhere?
A: It wasn't even supposed to come to our lab in the first place!

What not to do!

Case#3: Grocery bags as filler packaging?

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/Immunogentics Lab


8 am to 5 pm
24/7 On-call
WFSM HLA/Immunogenetics Laboratory
145 Kimel Park Dr., Ste 250
Winston-Salem, NC  27103-6972
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Last Updated: 11-01-2013
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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.