Please follow the procedures below to
ship clinical specimens to Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute in Valencia, California,
USA. Note: copies of forms are available by clicking
The shipper is required to comply with the rules and guidelines for transport of medical specimens as set forth by the United States government, the government of the country of origin and international regulatory agencies. Failure to follow instructions for packaging and shipping specimens can result in the delay, loss or destruction of your specimens. Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia will not be held responsible for any liability attributable to the shipper's improper actions for failure to comply with regulations.
- Shipper must comply with any applicable
regulations set forth by the countries of origin, transit
and destination. Violation of these regulations
may be in breach of national laws and can be subject to
civil or criminal penalties.
- Shipper must properly identify, classify,
package, mark, label and document contents of the shipment
in accordance with the laws and regulations of the countries
of origin, transit and destination.
- Shipper must notify Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia
of the shipping details for tracking purposes. Shipment
details including tracking number and air carrier should
be faxed to 661-799-5275.
- Shipper must provide such information
to his employees as will enable them to carry out their
responsibilities with regard to the transport laws and
regulations pertaining to the goods being shipped.
- Shipper's personnel involved in the preparation
of the packages for the transport of clinical specimens
must have received training to enable them to carry out
their responsibilities. Personnel sending Biological
Substances Category B specimens must know about the requirements
to send Biological Substance Category B specimens.
Personnel who send Biological Substance Category A specimens
must be trained in the shipment of Biological Substance
Category A specimens. Records of this training
must be maintained and individuals recertified every 3
(1) Division 6.2 (Infectious substance) means a material known or reasonably expected to contain a pathogen. A pathogen is a microorganism (including
bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, parasites, fungi) or other agent, such as a proteinaceous infectious particle (prion), that can cause disease in
humans or animals. An infectious substance must be assigned the identification number UN 2814, UN 2900, UN 3373, or UN 3291 as
appropriate, and must be assigned to one of the following categories:
- Category A: An infectious substance in
a form capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening
or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals
when exposure to it occurs. An exposure occurs when an
infectious substance is released outside of its protective
packaging, resulting in physical contact with humans or
animals. A Category A infectious substance must be assigned
to identification number UN 2814 or UN 2900, as appropriate.
Assignment to UN 2814 or UN 2900 must be based on the
known medical history or symptoms of the source patient
or animal, endemic local conditions, or professional judgment
concerning the individual circumstances of the source
human or animal. A list of examples of category A infectious
substances is attached.
Click here to
see a list of Category A biological substances.
- Category B: An infectious substance
that is not in a form generally capable of causing permanent
disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise
healthy humans or animals when exposure to it occurs.
This includes Category B infectious substances transported
for diagnostic or investigational purposes.
The shipper is responsible for compliance with all shipping regulations regarding proper packaging . To insure the most rapid turn-around times and to preserve the integrity of the specimen, please follow the guidelines listed below. Please call Client Services 800-421-4449 if you have any questions regarding test ordering or specimen requirements.
Each tube or other container should be labeled with:
- Patient Name
- Sending Lab's Specimen identification
- Type of Specimen
- Collection Date, Time and Initials
- Name of Sending Lab
- Physician Name (First, MI, Last)
U.S. Mail and Federal Express require
specimen packaging to include the following:
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia Primary Receptacles
and Specimen Mailers meet these qualifications.
- Leakproof primary receptacle
- Leakproof secondary packaging with biohazard
- Either the primary or secondary package
must be capable of withstanding, without leakage, an internal
pressure producing a pressure differential of not less
than 95 kPa
- Absorbent material (desiccant) placed
between the primary receptacle and the secondary packaging.
- Sturdy outside packaging constructed
of corrugated fiberboard (cardboard), wood, metal or plastic.
Exterior package must be capable of passing a drop test
of at least 1.2 meters, and must contain an "air
A packing slip should be packed in each box/bag.
The following information should be included if you use your
own computer-generated or preprinted packing slip:
- Name and Address of Sending Lab
- Temperature of the Specimen(s)
- Indication of Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia as Receiver
- A count of the number of bags
If you are using DataPassportMD®, the packing slip
is printed automatically. If you are using a Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia courier,
the courier will complete the packing slip for you.
- Place all samples for a single patient in an individual specimen bag containing absorbent material. Plastic specimen bags/absorbent are available from Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia.
- Fold requisition in half and insert the requisition in the plastic bag so that the patient's name is displayed.
- Use a plastic transport tube whenever possible. Glass tubes are not acceptable for frozen samples. Closures must be sufficiently tight to prevent leaking. Stoppers or corks must be held securely in position with wire, adhesive tape or other positive means. Packagings having necks with moulded screw-threads must have threaded-type caps having a resilient liner completely resistant to the contents.
If a test requires multiple samples at different temperatures (for example: one frozen sample and one sample at room temperature), place a copy of the requisition with each sample. Write "Duplicate Requisition" on each copy of the Test Requisition Form. Place a copy of computer-generated packing lists with specimens.
To prevent damage and insure specimen stability, samples
should be packed for shipping as follows:
- Secure the cap on the primary collection
- Place specimen in a Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia specimen
bag containing absorbent material.
- Package specimens in appropriate size
container, such as Styrofoam cooler; include insulation
material to prevent breakage.
- Place ambient, refrigerated or frozen
specimens in separate coolers and separate shipping boxes.
- Place ambient specimens in
Styrofoam cooler. Place a shipping manifest (packing
slip) on top of the specimens. Use paper towels or
newspaper to insulate samples against breakage.
- Place a cold pack that has been frozen
for more than 24 hours in a Styrofoam cooler. The
cold pack should be taken from freezer and kept refrigerated
for at least 3 hours before it is placed in cooler
with refrigerated specimens; protect tubes
from direct contact with the cold pack with newspaper
or paper towels. Use additional paper towels or newspaper
to insulate samples against breakage. Place a shipping
manifest (packing slip) on top of the specimens
- If frozen samples (including
tissue) are sent, please follow specific instructions
listed under PACKING
A SHIPPING COOLER FOR FROZEN SPECIMENS in the Shipping Procedures
- Include a packing slip (available from
our lab) in each box.
- Seal container with strapping tape.
- Place thick-walled Styrofoam container
inside cardboard box and seal with strapping tape.
- Fill out the air waybill completely, including
the sender's and recipient's complete names, addresses
and phone numbers.
- The exterior box should be marked "Diagnostic
specimens packed in accordance with IATA packing instruction
650." In addition a "Dry Ice" label should
be placed on the package if it contains dry ice.
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia
27027 Tourney Road
Valencia, CA 91355-5386
Phone 800-421-7110, ext 2
Local 661-799-6543, ext 2
- Contact the overnight courier for specific
instructions related to their service. Pick-up service
is generally available Monday through Friday. If shipping
on a Friday, be sure to check the "Saturday Delivery"
box on the air waybill to insure next day delivery.
If ambient specimens are shipped at the same time as frozen
specimens, place the ambient specimens in a second Styrofoam
container and ship as a separate entity. If shipping via
Federal Express, fax a copy of the air waybill to Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia
at 661-799-5275. The package will be tracked during shipment
to insure timely delivery.
|If you would
like more information on the Department of Transportation
regulations concerning the shipment of infectious substances,
please contact Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia Client Services at 800-421-4449.
Follow the instructions as for Non-infectious
Specimens as regards:
- Specimen Labeling
- Packing Slips
- Specimen Shipping Location
As the shipper, your Sendout Department is responsible for
reviewing specimens to determine if they are considered infectious
before sending to us or giving them to a Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia
courier for shipment. It is important that your laboratory
make the determination of whether a specimen is infectious
based upon your knowledge of the specimen being sent.
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia will supply you with the appropriate packaging materials and labels to ship Biological Substance Category A specimens via FedEx. You should contact the Client Supply Department at 800-421-7110 ext 6690 to request packaging for the shipment of infectious specimens. Specific Instructions on the use of this packaging will be included with the supplies. All individuals shipping Biological Substance Category A specimens must be trained according to regulations contained in 49CFR 172.704.
Follow the "Air
Courier" instructions instructions for shipping Biological Substance Category B substances within the United States. Follow any additional regulations set forth by the countries of origin, transit and destination. Instructions for packaging frozen specimens are included in PACKING
A SHIPPING COOLER FOR FROZEN SPECIMENS in the information that follows this Appendix.
The Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute of Valencia Directory of Services lists acceptable specimen temperatures for individual assays and panels. For additional specimen stability information, contact Client Services at 800-421-4449 or 661-799-6543 for international clients.
Biological Substance Category A specimens must be packaged and shipped in boxes approved by the United Nations (UN) and labeled according to requirements detailed below. We recommend the purchase of UN-approved boxes from your local packaging supplier. Your freight forwarder may be able to help in locating these suppliers. In the event these are not available, you should confirm with your shipping company that all IATA regulations for shipment of Biological Substance Category A substances have been met.
A Shippers Declaration for Dangerous Goods Form must accompany all shipments of Biological Substance Category A substances. See GUIDELINES FOR SHIPPER'S DECLARATION FOR DANGEROUS GOODS.
For shipments classified as "Biological Substance Category A Substances A81" the maximum quantity per box is 4 liters. For other Biological Substance Category A substances, the maximum quantity per box is 50 milliliters.