Transport of samples to Viapath

There are a number of packaging requirements for potentially infectious samples sent by GPs on King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust road transport vehicles.

When being transported, infectious substances must be packaged according to the UN standard Packaging Instruction (PI) 650.

Packaging guidelines

Infectious substances include material that is known to contain, or is reasonably expected to contain, pathogens and should be packaged as follows:

  1. Put all samples in individual plastic ‘kangaroo’ type sample bags.
  2. Put individual sample bags in a large, clear plastic sample bag that contains absorbent material (eg a sufficient amount of paper towelling to absorb any leakage).
  3. Place the large bag in a rigid sample transport container.
  4. Only rigid outer containers supplied by the Trust may be used to transport samples to the laboratory by road.
  5. There should be sufficient absorbent material lining the outer rigid container to absorb any spillage from samples.
  6. If samples leak into the box, dispose of the paper lining as clinical waste.
  7. If the container becomes contaminated, disinfect it by wiping out with 10% diluted Microsol 3 (50ml of stock into 450ml of deionised water).

Viapath's test information page has more information about how to transport and store samples.

The HSE biosafety guide also has detailed guidance.