PPB PPB
Information for Physicians

 

 

Shipping Instructions for Biological Samples
(Blood or Fresh/Frozen Tissue)

Specimens may only be sent to the Tissue Procurement Core on Monday through Thursday for next day priority morning delivery. Specimens should not be sent on Friday-Sunday or the day before a holiday.  Please return all specimen-shipping supplies with the completed kit (including the marking pen), even if they are not used.  Materials will be recycled for new specimen shipping kits. If you are not using one of our pre-paid kits, please call for a Federal Express billing number.

Holding Specimens for Shipment

Frozen tissue specimens and aliquots of serum may be held at -70°C or in dry ice until ready for shipment. Whole blood specimens may be held at 4°C for up to 24 hours until ready for shipment, but must be received by the Tissue Procurement Core within 48 hours of the time of collection. Do not freeze whole blood. Frozen tissue, serum, and peripheral blood should be sent independently of paraffin blocks or slides.

Shipping Frozen Specimens

For shipping frozen tissue, the single dry ice mailer should be layered with dry ice. The frozen specimen bags should be placed on the dry ice. The compartment should then be filled with the remaining dry ice and the foam cover should be used to close the container. Do not seal the dry ice compartment with tape. The tissue specimens should be completely buried in the dry ice. Please be certain to completely fill the container with dry ice so that shipping delays do not result in thawed specimens. Do not allow the specimens to thaw while packing them in the dry ice. The shipping box should be sealed with filament shipping tape. The pre-printed Federal Express airbill should be completed and attached to the top of the shipping box. The dry ice label should be completed and (with the biohazard label) affixed to the side of the box. 

With regard to shipping specimens in dry ice, please note:

  • When shipped by nearly all U.S. airlines, samples packed in a prescribed package containing no more than 5 lbs of dry ice do not require shipping papers and certification if the package is marked with the following: “Diagnostic Specimens”, the net weight of the dry ice, and the words “dry ice”.
  • If the weight of the dry ice is greater than 5 lbs make advance arrangements with the shipper.
  • Mark each package containing dry ice with a Class 9 label and indicate on the airway bill that the frozen material is “Diagnostic Specimens” or “Frozen Medical Specimens”.
  • For diagnostic specimens, under Public Health Service (PHS) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, there are no unusual requirements for marking, labeling or documentation other than name and address of the consignee or consignor.  International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations require the package to be marked with the words “DIAGNOSTIC SPECIMENS”.  Regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require that a biohazard label be affixed to the package.
  • All packages packed in dry ice must have a Class 9 label attached to the package.

Shipping Whole Blood Specimens

Blood tubes should be placed in the Styrofoam blood tube container.  Absorbent material that is provided should be included in the container.  The container seams should be sealed with tape. The foam container should be placed in the cardboard overwrap and sealed. This box should be placed and sealed in the zip-lock bag. The entire package should then be placed in the FedEx specimen-shipping envelope.

Shipping (all protocols)

Arrangements should be made for Federal Express pick-up according to the usual institutional procedure. Specimens should be shipped to the address below:
D. Ashley Hill, M.D.
Chief of Pathology
Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Ave. NW
Washington, DC  20010
Office phone: (202) 476-2815 or (202) 476-2051
Fax: (202) 476-4030
e-mail: dashill@cnmc.org

On the day that specimens are sent, please contact Dr. Hill or her study coordinator by phone, fax, or e-mail to notify them of the shipment, the FedEx tracking number, and when the shipment is expected to arrive.

Questions

If there are any questions about the proper handling of specimens or if your institution is not serviced by Federal Express, please contact:

D. Ashley Hill, M.D.
Chief of Pathology
Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Ave. NW
Washington, DC  20010
Office phone: (202) 476-2815 or (202) 476-2051
Fax: (202) 476-4030
e-mail: dashill@cnmc.org

 

 

 
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Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital Siteman Cancer Center
Children's Hospital

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