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Courier Packing and Shipping Guide

Leaks and Spills

To be safe, treat every spill as if it were infectious. If any specimen container in the laboratory appears to be leaking, don’t touch it. Bring it to the attention of lab personnel for repackaging. Do this even if the leaking container is inside another bag.

If something spills in the lab, immediately bring it to the attention of a laboratory staff. Apologize, but let the laboratory staff clean it up.

If a leak or spill occurs away from a laboratory, the courier will have to clean it up, using either a commercial clean-up kit or bleach.

  • Make sure no one touches or walks through the spill.
  • Always wear latex gloves when dealing with a spill.
  • If a spill is large, blot up as much as possible with a paper towel.
  • Any materials used to clean up a spill, including paper towels and gloves, should be sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories in a separate Styro and box.
  • Put a large note on top of the Styro headed: "LEAKING SPECIMEN." If the specimen was infectious, put all of the contents into a certified container/box with the infectious substance label and write "INFECTIOUS LEAKING SPECIMEN" on top of the Styro.
  • On the note, include the courier’s name, whose specimen it was, where the leak or spill occurred, and any other relevant details.
  • Be sure to note on the appropriate specimen control document that one specimen from that box has been shipped in a separate Styro and why.
  • If a container is leaking inside a bag, immediately secure it inside another Mayo Medical Laboratories bag and ship it in a separate Styro.

Any leak or spill should be reported immediately to Mayo Medical Laboratories or the courier’s employer. Don’t wait for the end of the run; call Mayo Medical Laboratories immediately at 1-800-533-1710 and ask for the Transportation Department. Be sure to communicate if the courier or anyone else came in contact with the specimen.


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