Do you need to observe the triple package guidelines when transporting blood specimens not by freight or mail but by courier or employee from the clinic to the lab—about ¼ of a mile by car? Is a primary and secondary container without absorbent material sufficient for this type of specimen transport?
Specimens sent by courier via ground transportation need to be in a leakproof primary which is the blood tube itself and either put into a zip bag with absorbent (e.g.paper towel) and then placed into a cooler or in a rack with the absorbent on the bottom of the cooler and the cooler is considered the secondary container.
Coolers must be placed on the floor of the vehicle behind the passenger’s seat as a first choice. If the floors are occupied with specimens, then the cooler must be held on the back set with the seat belt.
More information on packaging infectious substances for ground shipment can be found in The Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, Third Edition. To purchase this book, click here .
Also check out Terry Jo Gile’s new DVD Effective Education for Medical Courier Excellence which covers this material and many other issues a courier faces daily. It can be purchased through the products page of her website , or by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org  for more information.