How to safely package blood samples for shipping
Shipping blood tubes is a convenient and cost effective way to transport your samples to the laboratory. However, there can be issues if they are not packaged correctly. Hemolyzed blood and blood tube breakage are two of the most common problems that many laboratories have to deal with. Not only is having to re-draw costly, it is not a pleasant experience for the patient and also delays lab results and ultimately the diagnosis. In some cases, patients will have to fast 8-10 hours again in order to come back for a new draw. Other cases involve rolling veins, deep veins, small veins, or worse – trypanophobia, the fear of needles, which made the first draw very difficult in the first place. Those patients will especially not be excited to have their blood drawn again! Tubes that don’t break in the shipment can be jarred or be exposed to extreme temperatures that rupture the erythrocyte cell membranes, releasing hemoglobin and flooding the sample with potassium and cause invalid readings. There is a way to package your blood sample safely to avoid these issues. By packaging your tubes tightly in a kangaroo mailer, and adding an ice pack or two (depending on the time of year and temperatures in your area) you can protect your sample from these possible mishaps. Gel packs can also be used in extreme cold weather by using them in their thawed state to absorb the cold and keep the tubes from freezing. Kangaroo mailers come in two sizes, 9”×11″ and 12”×14″ to fit a various number of tubes. This is an easy way to prevent these issues from happening. Watch our video to better understand how to package your blood samples in this way and greatly reduce your redraw rate.