Complete Solutions for COVID-19 Sample Collection and Transport
Jun 16 2020
Rapid expansion of coronavirus testing in the UK has achieved the government target of capacity for 200,000 tests per day. To enable this more than 150 drive through and mobile testing sites have been set up across the UK. Essential to this testing strategy is the collection of quality samples and their safe delivery to the laboratories.
Availability of vast numbers of swabs is critical and to help meet capacity Public Health England (PHE) has issued COVID-19 guidance on the use of alternative swab types and transport media. Swabs with polystyrene shafts should be used, as swabs with wooden shafts may contain PCR inhibitors. Laboratories can use alternatives to Viral Transport Medium (VTM) subject to local validation. This includes transport swabs with liquid Amies medium such as Alpha Laboratories’ SW1050 swabs. Where necessary, transport swabs with no transport medium (such as the SW1010 or SW1040 dry swabs) can also be used. Find out more here.
Once the swab sample has been collected there are strict guidelines regarding how it should be packaged for transport to the laboratory. PHE states: “All samples for COVID-19 testing should be packaged and transported in accordance with Category B transportation regulations and labelled ‘Priority 10’. UN 3373 packaging must be used for sample transport.” PHE has numerous resources with instructions on the packaging requirements for COVID-19 specimens and examples of the types of primary, secondary and tertiary materials that must be used to provide the triple layer UN3373 compliant system.
As a specialist in UN3373 sample transport packaging Alpha Laboratories’ own experts can provide help and advice and you can access their full UN3373 Compliance Resources here.
Alpha Laboratories offer an extensive range of sample packaging components and for added convenience the complete sample transport kits, such as the popular RF95-LL1, contain everything you need including absorbent, 95kPa pouch, security seal and the rigid outer box with regulatory markings. The company also provides the additional specimen bags.
For transporting large numbers of samples our range of UN3373 Medical Sample Carriers are a popular choice with medical couriers and for hospital transport.
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