Specimen Collection & Transport


Primary and secondary packaging must be 95 kPa compliant (rated to withstand an internal pressure differential of 95 kilopascals).

All applicable laws of the United States Department of Transportation must be complied with when shipping any specimen.

If you have additional questions, contact Client Services.

Specimen Collection & Transport

Shipping Materials

Specimen Transport Racks

10-hole specimen racks ensure the safe transport of specimens to the laboratories.

Each rack holds ten tubes and keeps containers from coming into contact with each other during transit.

A specimen rack should be utilized when transporting more than one specimen to the laboratories.

When transporting multiple specimens, organize each rack by transport temperature (example: group all refrigerated tubes on one rack and ambient/room temperature specimens on another).

Ensure that specimen racks are placed into appropriately marked/labeled specimen transport temperature bag types.

Specimen Bags

When transporting a specimen in a bag, use either a labeled temperature-specific bag or a clear bag with a label indicating the temperature requirements.

Bags with no indicators on them will be treated as room-temperature/ambient specimens.

Include an absorbent sheet in any submitted bags to control condensation or possible specimen leakage while in transit.

Specimen Shippers

95 kPa-compliant packaging, including boxes and coolers, are available to request from the Supply Storefront.

All applicable laws of the United States Department of Transportation must be complied with when shipping any specimen.

Pathology Consultation Kits

Pathology Consultation Kits contain all the necessary supplies to send consults directly to Cleveland Clinic Laboratories.

Each kit includes a range of specimen collection and transport materials as well as a prepaid shipping label for added convenience.

Once the specimen has been collected and prepared for transport, simply place the kit in the provided shipping envelope, affix the return label to the outside of the packaging, and arrange for a package pick-up or drop-off.

Category B Substances

Category B substances are infectious but do not meet the criteria for Category A.

Category B infectious substances must be triple-packaged in a watertight primary specimen receptacle, watertight secondary packaging, and outer packaging strong enough to pass a 9 m drop test and 7 kg puncture test.

Please consult the IATA website for additional information.

Lockbox Specimens

To maintain specimen integrity, lockboxes must be packed and stored with each specimen’s temperature requirements in mind.

CCL recommends keeping your lockbox indoors at room temperature until it is packed and prepared for courier pick-up.

If you have questions about how to properly prepare your lockbox or need to schedule a special pick-up, please contact Client Services.

Greening the Labs

Cleveland Clinic is leading efforts for healthcare facilities around the country to promote a greener, cleaner environment—beginning with the laboratories.

Our Greening the Labs initiative outlines recommendations on how clients can keep sustainability in mind when shipping specimens to our laboratories for testing.


If you plan on sending more than one specimen to our laboratories, try to ship everything in one package to minimize the transportation burden.

A single package is more efficient to ship, unpack, and process, and you can also save on shipping costs.

Shipping Materials

When preparing specimens for shipment, clients can reuse materials, such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, and other packaging.

To ensure proper delivery and processing, please remove any previous labels from reused packaging, and ensure that the materials are still in good condition.

Biohazard Bags

To promote sustainability, we encourage clients to use clear transport bags for transporting paraffin blocks and glass slides.

Since blocks and slides are not biohazardous materials, they do not need to be placed in biohazard transport bags.

Biohazard transport bags can only be used once and must be discarded as regulated medical waste, thereby increasing our regulated medical waste volume.

Please note: Due to the risk of prion disease, biohazard transport bags should be used for brain and spinal cord tissue.

Pathology Consultation Kits

Pathology Consultation Kits are an easy way to send pathology specimens for consultation.

Each kit is designed efficiently: every box contains any supplies necessary to send samples to CCL.

For the sake of sustainability, we ask that clients using our Pathology Consultation Kits not add any additional packing materials.

By using the exact amount of packaging provided, we can work together to reduce waste being sent to the landfill while ensuring the integrity of submitted specimens.

Need Assistance?

Client Services representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.