How to Ship Samples

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Packing and shipping instructions:

The Minnesota Urolith Center does not provide containers or prepaid mailers. Any shipping, duties, or customs inspection charges are the responsibility of the shipper.  Domestic samples can be shipped via US Mail or through your preferred shipper.

Sending specimens by a carrier that provides tracking will minimize transit delays. If shipping through the US Postal Service make sure sufficient postage is affixed. Postage is calculated by weight and parcel size.

The packing slip did not print, should I reenter the sample?

The packing slip did not print, should I reenter the sample?

Please DO NOT re-enter the sample - this will create two records for the same patient sample. You can either print a copy of the confirmation email, send us a note with the sample submission number, or provide us with a note including your clinic name, patient and owner name and be sure to include the information "SAMPLE SUBMITTED ONLINE".  We will be able to match the sample and online information when it is received in the laboratory. 

Should I submit a handwritten submission form with the sample?

Should I submit a handwritten submission form with the sample?

No.  All the information we need in on the system generated packing slip that you print after sample submission. If you elect to send a submission form - please mark it "SAMPLE SUBMITTED ONLINE". This way we will know that you have already entered the information and it will prevent us from duplicating this sample.

How should the sample be packaged and shipped?

How should the sample be packaged and shipped?

Click on “How to submit samples” on the login page. Samples shipped via priority mail or through a shipping company typically arrive sooner than samples sent via US Postal Service. We recommend you ship packages by a carrier that provides tracking information. Tracking provided by the shipping company gives you information on the path of your sample before it arrives in our laboratory. Submissions from outside the USA require shipping through carriers that allow for customs USDA/APHIS inspections.

I have multiple stones; do I need to submit them all?

I have multiple stones; do I need to submit them all?

We advise always submitting the largest stone, and a representative portion of sizes, shapes, and colors. If uroliths were retrieved from different parts of the urinary tract; (e.g. kidney and bladder), send them in separate containers, identified with the source. All uroliths within a patient may or may not be composed of the same mineral type.

The sample is very bloody, how do I clean it off?

The sample is very bloody, how do I clean it off?

Uroliths must be dry before we can perform analysis.  Please rise the sample with water (tap water is fine) and remove as much blood as possible.  Blot off excess liquid, and allow the stones to dry before packaging.

Can I send the stones in urine or other liquid?

Can I send the stones in urine or other liquid?

Uroliths must be dry before we can perform analysis.  Under some conditions, small uroliths/crystalline material can go back into suspension if submitted in urine.  Submission of samples in formalin may also alter or dissolve uroliths/crystalline material.  If uroliths are very tiny, the best method is to place them in a small specimen tube  or conical vial, and pipette off as much liquid as possible.  Be sure to write on the submission form/packing slip “SMALL SAMPLE”.

Should I send the sample in formalin?

Should I send the sample in formalin?

NO. Formalin can interfere with analysis, dissolve samples, and may alter crystalline structure. 

The sample was accidentally put in formalin, what do we do now?

The sample was accidentally put in formalin, what do we do now?

If a sample is accidentally put in formalin and has not dissolved, you can remove the sample from formalin and allow to dry. Please note on the submission form that the sample has been in formalin. Sample analysis may be delayed due to inappropriate submission methods.

Can I send the sample in a glass vial?

Can I send the sample in a glass vial?

Please submit the sample in a non-breakable container (plastic specimen vial, prescription vials, or simply a small plastic specimen bag).  Then place the primary vial in a secondary container such as a small clear zippered plastic bag before placing in a rigid outer shipping container.  See How to Ship for additional information.  The Minnesota Urolith Center does not provide mailing containers.

Does the Minnesota Urolith Center provide mailers, containers or prepaid mailing labels?

Does the Minnesota Urolith Center provide mailers, containers or prepaid mailing labels?

 We are currently unable to provide containers or prepaid mailers. Any shipping, duties, or customs inspection charges are the responsibility of the shipper. 

Can I mail my sample in a padded envelope?

Can I mail my sample in a padded envelope?

We encourage you to ship the sample packaged according to the guidelines on our How to Ship page. 

What shipping method should we use to send the sample?

What shipping method should we use to send the sample?

The Minnesota Urolith Center cannot pay shipping fees.  All shipping, duties, customs, or taxes are the responsibility of the shipper.  Use your preferred carrier. Samples can be sent through the US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS or other carriers.  See How to Ship for country-specific instructions.  Using priority shipping, delivery confirmation, tracking or other expedited services can decrease transit time and shorten overall turnaround time for results. 

Contact Minnesota Urolith Center

 
phone 612.625.4221  ♦  fax 612.626.3226  ♦  support@urolithcenter.org

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