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Hidden dangers in doing medical deliveries?

Thousands of couriers perform medical deliveries across this country every day, many of them with little or no formal training or education. I see it everyday in my city, couriers walking out of clinics with specimen bags bundled and clasped with their bare hands.

They never think about the risk involved in handling specimens that way.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Take for instance, dropping the specimen.

Those plastic baggies are slippery and could fall to the ground breaking the specimen.

Most outsourced couriers do not carry spill kits, so what happens next?

And what about the impact on the patient?  They will likely need to come back to the clinic to have their blood re-drawn.  The average cost of a re-draw is $300.00.  Who is going to pay for that?

Some patients are older and it's harder to get a ride to and from the clinic, let alone the physical implications of having to go in and have their blood drawn.  Some patients are difficult draws for various reasons, including collapsed or tiny veins.

I've seen couriers transport blood specimens attached to their clipboard, thrown on their dashboard, thrown on the front seat, and tucked into their coat pocket.  This is unacceptable, and yet, some labs use these companies because they are more "cost effective."   Translation: cheaper.

Well, as we all know, cheaper isn't always better. In fact, the old statement, "you get what you pay for" certainly applies to medical specimen deliveries. 

It's not just auto parts or title deliveries or small packages we are talking about here, there are patients behind every specimen.  It could be your wife, your brother or sister, your father or mother.

Think about how you would feel if it was your relative and their specimen was ruined due to courier negligence or mishandling.

I'm sure we can all agree that we want the best trained and equipped courier handling our medical specimens.  Let's hope that all labs and hospitals feel the same way.


Finally, let's look at the risks that the drivers are taking every day. With the fact that Hepatitis B can survive for up to 7 days on a dry surface, and the virus can lead to liver disease and liver cancer, who is informing your drivers of the risks inherent in specimen deliveries?

Call Integrity Medical Courier Training to find out how you can provide the best possible medical courier in your area and increase your influence in the medical community.


Ken Arnold


Integrity Medical Courier Training

(719) 502-7081


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