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SOP for Transportation of Biological Specimens

. Last Updated: 24 November 2013Hits: 26432

The purpose of developing this Standard operating procedure is as a reference for Ministry of Health Malaysia hospital laboratories. It is timely that a standard operating procedure be made available as a reference for transportation of any biological specimens by air or surface. This is to ensure that the biological specimens are packaged and handled in a suitable manner to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of employees handling the pathological specimens and also to ensure that the specimens are packaged in suitable receptacles and maintained under suitable environmental conditions for transport.

Biological specimens may contain infectious materials and can be the potential source of an outbreak. It is important that care is taken when collecting and handling the specimens to ensure that the risk of infection to staff is kept to an absolute minimum. The packaged material should not have any possibility of escaping from the package under normal conditions of transport.

The responsibility for the safe collection and packaging of biological specimens shall not rest entirely upon the sender. It is imperative that all areas where pathological specimens are generated be it histopathology, chemical pathology, haematology and microbiology, remain conversant with the current rules, regulations and up to date safety code of practice. This includes the Biosafety act, the importation and exportation of organism guideline, Ministry of Health Malaysia, and the guidelines by International Air Transport Association.

I would like to thank the editorial board and the professionals from multidisciplines in the Pathology services, Ministry of Health Malaysia  for their contributions in developing this standard operating procedure.



Dr Shahnaz Murad
Head of Pathology Services and
Director, Institute for Medical Research
Ministry of Health Malaysia

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