Shipping blood samples to Israel
April 6, 2016 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Any idea how I can get a couple of non-infectious blood samples drawn in the NJ/NY area and shipped to a lab in Israel?
posted by blueyellow to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
FedEx has guidelines for clinical samples. UPS as well. I would contact both and ask for further details and if they ship these items world-wide.
posted by KMB at 1:32 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

You need to find out what the receiving lab's requirements are for how the samples must be preserved. You can probably get the blood drawn at one of the big testing companies like LabCorp. LabCorp will either ship them for you, or you can ship them yourself using e.g. UPS or fedex
posted by Across the pale parabola of joy at 1:34 PM on April 6, 2016

Response by poster: I called Quest and they said they don't ship. UPS seems to want you to be a company with an account to ship anything biological. Maybe LabCorp does? I'll call them.
posted by blueyellow at 2:38 PM on April 6, 2016

A lot of testing must be done within 7 days, and the receiving lab will want a clear record of when the sample was taken and the conditions under which it was stored since then. You need to work with the lab to find out what their network here is, or with a clinician here who has a relationship with the lab. Many labs have very strict requirements for not only how the sample will be preserved (as Across the pale parabola of joy points out), but also the specific container, volume, etc.

I'd start by checking withe receiving lab.
posted by papergirl at 5:35 PM on April 6, 2016

I would contact the lab in Israel to get more information. Ideally, they would mail you a collection kit with the appropriate packaging--if they have a kit, LabCorp or Quest or even your local hospital should be able to draw the sample and package it for pickup. If the lab doesn't supply a collection kit, at a minimum you need the type of tube to be collected, volume of blood needed, shipping temperature, and a copy of the requisition for the lab. You should know that mailing specimens internationally, even non-infectious ones considered "exempt human specimens", requires being packaged in a specific way. Lab employees have to take an extensive training course to be certified in sending out these samples, although it's not impossible to do yourself.
posted by impishoptimist at 8:19 PM on April 6, 2016

Also, is it whole blood, serum or something else they want? Serum could be frozen... Why Israel is the only place that can test it is also a question you could enquire of. A lab in your home country could do so then send the results to the Israel facility.
posted by taff at 11:04 PM on April 6, 2016

Just a guess. Is this for DNA or HLA testing? If so, you may find help or information at

In general, you first need to find out what the specimen requirements are, (tubes, volume, plasma or whole blood, temperature, timing ), and then talk to Fed Ex or UPS.

We used to ask people to send samples to our lab for this type of testing, but the lab would send them instructions or a kit.

Here is the FedEx page on shipping bio samples.
posted by SLC Mom at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2016

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