Model Rules for Specimen Transport

Specimen handling and transport requirements are dependent upon specimen types and the tests required. This applies to All specimens sent to HUH including Gp's and Outpatient requests as well as In-House HUH samples being sent to Pathology.


Specimen containers and transport bags

The person who obtains the specimen must ensure the following:

• the container is the appropriate one for the purpose - Check Pathology Test Directory for guidance

• the lid is securely closed (especially on Urines and Fluid samples)

• there is no external contamination of the outer receptacle by the contents as they will not be analysed.

• specimens must be placed in the transparent plastic transport bag as soon as they have been labelled

• specimens should be placed in the bag according to local laboratory guidance, if placing more than one specimen in the plastic sleeve

• the transport bag must be sealed using the integral sealing strip (not stapled, etc) the request form must not be placed in with the sample in the bag; but placed in the outer part of the bag in the appropriate sleeve.

• for large specimens, e.g. 24 hour urine, specimens may be enclosed in individual clear plastic sacks tied at the neck - the form tied outside at the neck of the bag.

• specimen transport bags must not be used more than once.


Health and Safety (2005) Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of
Transportable Pressure Equipment (2005)

Department of Health (June 2007) Transport of Infectious Substances –
Best Practice Guidance for Microbiology Laboratories