US20070062842A1 - Specimen collection and shipping kit and container therefor - Google Patents

Specimen collection and shipping kit and container therefor Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070062842A1
US20070062842A1 US11230162 US23016205A US2007062842A1 US 20070062842 A1 US20070062842 A1 US 20070062842A1 US 11230162 US11230162 US 11230162 US 23016205 A US23016205 A US 23016205A US 2007062842 A1 US2007062842 A1 US 2007062842A1
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Prior art keywords
shipping container
shipping
container
inner
panel
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US11230162
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Lawrence Bender
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Bender Lawrence F
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings not used, see subgroups
    • B65D5/50Internal supporting or protecting elements for contents
    • B65D5/5028Elements formed separately from the container body
    • B65D5/5035Paper elements
    • B65D5/5038Tray-like elements formed by folding a blank and presenting openings or recesses
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B10/00Other methods or instruments for diagnosis, e.g. instruments for taking a cell sample, for biopsy, for vaccination diagnosis; Sex determination; Ovulation-period determination; Throat striking implements
    • A61B10/0096Casings for storing test samples
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2313/00Connecting or fastening means
    • B65D2313/02Connecting or fastening means of hook-and-loop type

Abstract

A shipping container is provided for shipping specimens from collection sites to testing facilities. The container includes a base for holding a specimen-containing vial during shipment. The base includes a compartment for receiving at least one implement used in collecting the specimen. Resealable closure means are provided for closing and sealing the shipping container to allow the container to be opened and inspected during shipment and resealed for final shipment to the testing facility. A specimen collection and shipping kit includes the container, at least one vial and at least one collecting implement.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention generally relates to the art of specimen or sample collection and shipping the collected specimens or samples while maintaining custodial protocol.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • A wide variety of specimens, samples, cultures or the like are being collected for transport to a laboratory, testing facility or other site remote from the collection site. Such procedures are used in a wide variety of applications. For instance, specimens or cell cultures may be collected from a person and shipped to a laboratory for tests relating to the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses or for DNA research, paternity testing, transplant matching or the like. The tests may involve detection of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis, hepatitis or the like. Other areas of specimen collection and shipment involve animal research and testing such as for mastitis in commercial dairy herds or mad cow disease in any type of cattle. Mosquitos and/or mosquito larva is collected for testing. In fact, entire bird carcasses are collected and shipped to laboratories.
  • One of the fastest growing specimen collection and shipping applications is in the area of microbiological surface sampling and testing. These procedures are carried out in homes, offices and a wide range of other buildings and even in cars, boats, trucks, RV's, trailers and the like. The specimens involve airborne bacteria and fungi which settle on surfaces and can be easily collected. One of the most prominent applications in recent years involves the testing for “black mold” in homes, offices or other buildings.
  • In all of the above specimen collection and shipment applications, the specimens are collected at a location which is different from and, usually, quite remote from the testing or verification facilities. This requires the specimens to be shipped in safe and secure containers. Heretofore, such containers typically have been very complicated and expensive and not applicable for cheap mass production and mass usage. Another problem is that a fail-safe protocol system is not provided, so that the custody and handling of the specimen containers can be easily tracked. This is particularly true with present homeland security regulations which might require a shipping container to be opened and inspected. The protocol of such inspections must be maintained, and the container must somehow be resealed, particularly when shipping hazardous or infectious specimens. Still another problem involves disposal of the actual tools, appliances or implements used in collecting the specimens. These implements, obviously, become contaminated and proper disposal of the implements becomes a very serious problem. The present invention is directed to solving this myriad of problems and satisfying needs in the area of specimen collection and shipment which is not available in the prior art.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An object, therefore, of the invention is to provide a new and improved specimen collection and shipping kit.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved shipping container for shipping specimens from collection sites to laboratories, testing facilities or the like.
  • In the exemplary embodiment of the invention, a shipping container is provided for shipping specimens from collection sites to testing facilities. The container includes a base for holding a specimen-containing vial during shipment. In one embodiment of the invention, the base includes a compartment for receiving at least one implement used in collecting the specimen. Resealable closure means are provided for closing and sealing the shipping container to allow the container to be opened and inspected during shipment and resealed for final shipment to the testing facility.
  • As disclosed herein, the base of the shipping container is a box-like structure having a cavity for receiving and holding the vial during shipment. The box-like base may include a plurality of the cavities for receiving and holding a plurality of the vials. In the illustrated embodiment, a cluster of the cavities is located centrally of the box-like base, with a pair of the compartments along opposite sides of the cluster of cavities.
  • According to one aspect of the invention, the shipping container is formed as a one-piece structure fabricated of foldable sheet metal material, such as corrugated cardboard or plastic. An inner flap is foldable over the base and the vials held therein, as well as over the compartment and the implements held therein. An outer flap is foldable over the inner flap and provides the resealable closure means. The outer flap includes a first resealable seal and at least a second reseal.
  • According to another aspect of the invention, the shipping container includes indicia means respectively correlated to the first resealable seal and the second reseal, to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in effecting the seal and reseal. As disclosed herein, the indicia means is provided on the outer flap as well as the inner flap of the one-piece foldable container.
  • According to a further aspect of the invention, the inner flap comprises a first inner flap, and a second inner flap is foldable over the first inner flap. It is contemplated that at least the inner flap may be fabricated of transparent material to allow for visualization of the vial therebeneath.
  • The invention also contemplates a specimen collection and shipping kit. Specifically, the kit includes at least one implement for collecting a specimen. At least one vial is provided for storing the collected specimen. The box-like base of the container receives and protects the vial. The compartment in the base receives the implement for shipment with the vial to the testing facility.
  • Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The features of this invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with its objects and the advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals identify like elements in the figures and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shipping container according to one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a plurality of vials positionable into the container of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a plurality of collection implements positionable into the container of FIG. 1;
  • FIGS. 4-15 are sequential views of fabricating and forming the container of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 16 is a plan view, on an enlarged scale, of the outside of the outside closure flap of the container in FIG. 1, showing details of the chain of custody indicia means and the resealable closure means;
  • FIG. 17 is a view similar to that of FIG. 16, but showing the indicia means and resealable closure means on an inside flap of the container;
  • FIGS. 18-29 are views similar to that of FIGS. 4-15, but showing a second embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIGS. 30-41 are views similar to that of FIGS. 4-15, but showing a third embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring to the drawings in greater detail, FIGS. 1-17 show a first embodiment of the invention and which will be described first, below. FIGS. 18-29 show a second embodiment of the invention. FIGS. 30-41 show a third embodiment of the invention.
  • Before proceeding with a description of the first embodiment, certain terms will be used herein in a generic sense to include equivalent structures, lacking an appropriate generic term. For instance, the phrase “vial” is used herein to describe any structure capable of appropriately holding the particular specimen collected. For instance, a “vial” herein is meant to include such structures as testing tubes, flexible pouches or any similar structure used to appropriately enclose a particular specimen for handling and shipping purposes. The term “testing facility” is used herein to indicate any facility whatsoever, such as laboratories or the like, where a specimen might be shipped for further analysis after collection. The term “implement” or “collection implement” is used herein to describe a wide range of apparatus for collecting specimens whether the specimens are solids, liquids, gaseous or particulate or powder in nature. For instance, collection implements may include collection plates, collection filters, funnels, gloves, adhesive tape, scissors, forceps, brushes, spatulas, sterile pouches, swabs, ties, glasses, labels, breathing masks, sanitizing wipers, scales and refrigerants. The terms “implements” or “collection implements” are intended to include items used in the collection of specimens, such as protective gear including gloves, face masks and the like. Some or all of these implements can become contaminated during the process of collecting various specimens.
  • With those understandings, reference is made to FIG. 1 which shows a shipping container, generally designated 10, according to a first embodiment of the invention. Container 10 includes a base or protective box, generally designated 12, a first inner flap or panel 14 foldable over the protective box, a second inner flap or panel 16 foldable over the first inner flap 14, an outer flap or panel forming a lid 18 foldable over the inner flaps, and a resealable closure means in the form of a resealable closure flap or panel 20 for closing and sealing shipping container 10 to allow the container to be opened and inspected during shipment and resealed for final shipment to the testing facility, as will be explained hereinafter. Also as will be seen hereinafter, the resealable closure flap 50 performs a dual function of providing indicia means to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in effecting the seal and resealing of the container.
  • The base or protective box 12 of container 10 includes a plurality of cavities 22 for receiving a plurality of vials (described below in relation to FIG. 2) during shipment. At least one compartment 24 is formed by protective box 12 for placing collection implements (described below in relation to FIG. 3) into the container for shipment with the vials to the testing facility. In the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1, a cluster (six) of cavities 22 is located generally centrally of protective box 12, and a pair of compartments 24 are formed along opposite sides of the cluster of cavities.
  • The invention not only contemplates a shipping container 10 as described above in relation to FIG. 1, but the invention contemplates the provision of a self-contained kit which includes all of the items necessary for use in collecting a specimen or specimens and ship the specimens to a testing facility, along with the collection implements which might have become contammated during the collection process. To that end, reference is made to FIG. 2 wherein a plurality of vials, generally designated 26, are shown. Each vial includes a cup-like body 26 a and a lid 26 b to cover and close the body. The body and/or the lid may be textured so that the vial can be marked as to its content identity and site identity. Alternatively, a marking tape may be applied to the vial for identification purposes. A plurality of vials often are required for collecting specimens in various collection processes. For instance, if a test is to be conducted for “black mold” in a building, specimens may be collected from different rooms, and the plurality of vials would be so marked to indicate from which room the specimen in the respective vial has been collected. A plurality of vials would be required for collecting and shipping medical biopsy specimens such as testing for gastrointestinal disorders. Specimens would be collected from such locations as the esophagus, the stomach and the duodenum. The various specimens are placed in vials 26 which, in turn, are placed in cavities 22 in the protective box of container 10. Preferably, the vials are sized to be held snugly in the cavities during shipment.
  • FIG. 3 shows a plurality of collection implements, generally designated 28, which might be used in collecting the specimens which are placed in vials 26. The collection implements can take a very wide variety of configurations ranging from simple swabs to more complicated forceps or syringes. One of the major problems with collection and shipping containers of the prior art is that a user is stuck with the task of disposing the collection implements which could be contaminated with caustic or highly infectious specimens. Typically, a user ships the collected specimens off to the testing facility and is left with the collection implements for proper disposal. Often, there are no local disposal facilities and a user has a tendency of disposing of the collection implements in an improper or unsafe manner. According to the invention, container 10 not only has a plurality of cavities 22 for receiving and securely holding vials 26 and the specimens therewithin, but the base or protective box 12 of the container has the compartments 24 for receiving the collection implements which also can be shipped with the specimens to the testing facility which is particularly equipped with proper disposal facilities and procedures. In other words, there cannot be a better facility for disposal of the collection implements than the very facility which is equipped to dispose of the potentially contaminating specimens.
  • FIGS. 4-15 show the steps in forming container 10 (FIG. 1) from a flat blank, generally designated 30 in FIG. 4. The blank is stamped from a sheet of appropriate material, such as corrugated cardboard or plastic. Plastic would be preferred where the container will be exposed to the weather, other liquids, acids or other caustic materials. All of the dotted lines 32 in FIGS. 4-10 represent scored lines to form longitudinal fold lines where the flat material of blank 30 is weakened to allow bending of the various portions of the blank along the dotted lines. FIG. 4 clearly shows where protective box 12, first inner flap or panel 14, second inner flap or panel 16, outer flap or lid 18 and the resealable closure flap or panel 20 are located within the configuration of flat blank 30. The various flaps extend radially away from a center wall 32 which forms the bottom wall of protective box 12. The protective box is given a depth by means of a flange 14 a which runs along the inner edge of the first inner flap 14. The second inner flap 16 similarly has an inside flange 16 a. The outer flap or lid 18 has an inside flange 18 a. The outer flap or lid also has a pair of side flanges 18 b and an outside flange 18 c. A pair of tabs 34 project outwardly from opposite ends of inside flange 18 a of lid 18.
  • Still referring to blank 30 of FIG. 4, protective box 12 includes a platform panel 36 which has a plurality of holes or apertures 22 which define the cavities for receiving vials 26. Platform 36 is elevated above bottom wall 32 by means of an inside flange 36 a, an outside flange 36 b and a pair of side flanges 36 c. A pair of tabs 38 project outwardly from opposite ends of inside flange 36 a, and a pair of tabs 40 project outwardly from opposite ends of outside flange 36 b. Strips of pressure sensitive adhesives are applied at 42 on inside flange 14 a, at 44 on inside flange 16, and at 46 on inside flange 18 a. Adhesive strips 42,44 are permanent adhesives which function to maintain the shape of the container. A releasable adhesive strip is applied at 48 on each side flange 18 b of lid 18. Releasable Velcro discs 49 are applied at opposite ends of each releasable adhesive strip 48. The releasable adhesive strips 48 and Velcro discs 49 help to maintain the shape of the container by preventing flanges 18 b of lid 18 from flaring outwardly. Separate tape could be used, but the tape would have to be provided and cut to open the container, whereas releasable adhesive strips 48 and Velcro discs 49 provide self-contained means on the container, itself. Platform 36 could be moved to one side or the other to vary the sizes of compartments 24 to accommodate different sizes of collection implements, or the platform could be moved all the way to one side to form only one compartment.
  • FIGS. 5-15 show the steps in forming container 10 from blank 30. Specifically, inner flaps 14 and 16 are bent upwardly in relation to bottom wall 32 as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. Tabs 34 and 38 then are bent upwardly along opposite edges of the inner flaps as seen in FIG. 7. The lid then is formed by bending side flanges 18 b and outside flange 18 c upwardly relative to outer flap 18 as seen in FIG. 8. Inside flange 18 a of the outer flap then is bent upwardly as seen in FIG. 9, whereupon tabs 34 can be pressed into engagement with adhesives 42 and 44 (not visible in the depiction) as seen in FIG. 9.
  • Outside flange 36 b and side flanges 36 c then are bent generally perpendicular to platform 36 as seen in FIG. 10. Inside flange 36 a then is bent upwardly as seen in FIG. 11, which swings platform 36 over into a position generally parallel to and spaced from bottom wall 32. Tabs 40 at opposite ends of outside flange 36 b of platform 36 are bent outwardly and adhered to adhesive 46. This depiction of FIG. 11 corresponds to that of FIG. 1 described above. In essence, flanges 36 a, 36 b and 36 c about the periphery of platform 36 maintain the platform elevated above bottom wall 32 so that vials 26 can be positioned into and through the holes 22 which define the cavities for the vials. It also can be understood that the side walls of the base or protective box 12 are formed by inside flange 36 a of platform 36, inside flange 14 a of inner flap 14, inside flange 16 a of inner flap 16 and inside flange 18 a of outer flap 18.
  • In essence, the condition of container 10 in FIGS. 1 and 11 is the “usage stage” of the container. After the specimens are collected by implements 28 and placed in vials 26, the vials are closed and are positioned into cavities 22 in elevated platform 36. The collection implements also are placed into the container, directly into compartments 24 along opposite sides of the vial-containing platform. Before proceeding, it can be seen that a pair of Velcro disks 52 are attached to the outsides of inside flange 14 a of inner flap 14 and inside flange 16 a of inner flap 16. Only the Velcro disks on the outside of flange 14 a are visible in FIG. 11.
  • After the filled vials 24 are snugly positioned within cavities 22, and after the collection implements 28 are positioned into compartments 24, the first inner flap 14 is bent or folded over the top of protective box 12 as seen in FIG. 12. The other inner flap 16 then is folded over inner flap 14 as seen in FIG. 12. The outer flap or lid 18 then is closed as shown in FIG. 14. The resealable closure flap 20 then is closed and sealed as shown in FIG. 15, whereupon container 10 now is ready to be shipped to a testing facility, along with the filled vials and the collection implements stored within the container.
  • FIG. 16 shows the details of the top side of resealable closure flap 20. As viewed in FIG. 16, outside edge 20 a of flap 20 is a free edge of the flap as can be seen in FIGS. 1, 11 and 14. Inside edge 20 b of the flap is integrally joined with flange 18 a of outer flap or lid 18. Therefore, closure flap 20 can pivot or fold about inside edge 20 b.
  • FIG. 16 shows five parallel seal strips of adhesive indicated by phantom lines 60. The adhesive strips are applied to the bottom side of closure flap 20 as viewed in FIG. 16. The seal strips are covered by removable release strips. A plurality of tear strips or strings 62 are accessible to a user at the top side of closure flap 20, with one tear strip 62 running along and immediately inside each seal strip 60, i.e., away from free edge 20 a of the resealable closure flap 20.
  • The use of the resealable closure flap 20 in FIG. 16 now will be described. After vials 26 and collection implements 28 have been placed into cavities 22 and compartments 24, respectively, of shipping container 10, the container then is closed as described above in relation to FIGS. 12-14. The user removes the release strip from the adhesive strip 60 which forms “Seal #1” in FIG. 16 and adheres closure flap 22 to the outside surface of bottom wall 32 of the container. The user then fills in indicia 64 on the outside surface of closure flap 20 to indicate the name of the user who sealed the container, along with the date of such sealing. Indicia 64 is on a side (outside) of flap 20 opposite the side (inside) on which seal strips 60 are located. The container now is ready to be shipped to the testing facility. However, during transit, container 10 most likely will be inspected by the carrier, or by Home Land Security agencies or other agencies. The first inspector pulls on “Tear Strip #1”. The tear strip can be a portion of the material of flap 20, or the tear strip can be a tear string. In any event, pulling on the tear strip, in effect, separates seal #1 from the remainder of the flap and allows the closure flap to be opened. Either before or after removing Tear Strip #1, the inspector fills in indicia 66 to indicate the person who opened Seal #1 and the date of such opening.
  • After the first inspection is completed, the release strip is pulled off of Seal #2, and flap 20 again can be sealed to secure container 10. The inspector fills in indicia 68, including his or her name and the date, and the “chain of custody” or protocol of unsealing and resealing container 10 is maintained throughout transit of the container to the testing facility.
  • It can be seen in FIG. 16 that the inside surface of the resealable closure flap 20 is provided with five seals, namely, Seals #1-Seal #5 and Tear Strips #1-#5. This allows container 10 to be initially sealed by the person collecting the specimen, and four intermediate inspections of the container can be made, leaving tear strip #5 for opening by the ultimate testing facility.
  • FIG. 17 shows that the second inner flap 16 can be provided to open and reseal the container and allow for total visualization of vials 26 in cavities 22 and collection implements 28 in compartments 24. Like the resealable closure flap 20, inner flap 16 has parallel strips of adhesive 60, along with parallel tear strips 62 between the seal strips. The seal strips are adhesive strips on the inside surface of flap 16, covered by removable release strips. The seal strips face the outside surface of inner flap 14 when the container is closed. Tear strips 62 are accessible on the outside surface of flap 16. Again, indicia means 64-68 are provided, to be filled in by various individuals to maintain the “chain of custody” or protocol in effecting the sealing and resealing of flap 16.
  • While it is not a necessity to provide both the outside flap 20 as well as inner flap 16 as resealable closure flaps with custodial prototype indicia 64/66, it is a very desirable arrangement. The two flaps provide a redundancy for safety purposes. In addition, outer flap 20 an be used primarily by the transit carrier, whereas inner flap 16 can be used by interim inspectors, particularly when an inspector must inspect the actual content of vials 26 or implements 28.
  • The invention contemplates that inner flaps 14 and 16 be fabricated of transparent or at least translucent material so that the contents of cavities 22, compartments 24 and/or vials 26 can be visualized without opening the flaps. In fact, the entire container could be fabricated of such material. For instance, with translucent material, such as corrugated plastic, the container could be held up to a light or run over a lighted table to see the outline of the container contents. Transparent material would allow visualization completely through the material.
  • FIGS. 18-29 show a second embodiment of the invention in the form of a shipping container, generally designated 10A (FIG. 25). The container and its method of fabrication are quite similar to that of container 10 described above in relation to FIGS. 1 and 4-17. Consequently, like reference numerals have been applied in FIGS. 18-29 corresponding to like components described above in relation to the first embodiment. In addition, the description of those like components and the similar fabrication steps will not be repeated in detail.
  • Suffice it to say, the difference between shipping container 10A and shipping container 10 is that platform 36A of container 10A is wider than platform 36 of container 10. In essence, the side flanges 36 c along platform 36 of the first embodiment have been eliminated. Consequently, there are no compartments 24 (FIG. 1) in the second embodiment of FIGS. 18-29. The second embodiment would be used in situations where there are no collection implements which should be shipped along with the specimens to the testing facility. For instance, bacteria or fungi may be collected off of surfaces in a home, office or other building by wiping the surfaces with a small piece of gauze. The entire gauze piece then is placed in a single vial 26 and sent to the testing facility. In addition, although six cavity-forming holes 22 are stamped out of both platforms 36 and 36A in both embodiments, it can be seen that platform 36A of the second embodiment is larger than platform 36 of the first embodiment and, therefore, more cavities 22 can be stamped in platform 36 a for receiving standard sized vials 26, if desired.
  • Otherwise, the fabrication of container 10A is substantially identical to container 10, wherein a blank 30 (FIG. 18) is stamped of sheet material and folded or bent as shown in FIGS. 19-25 to form the open container 10A which, then, is closed as shown in FIGS. 26-29 for shipping the specimens/vials to the testing facility. The use of the resealable closure flap 20 and the chain of custody indicia involving the parallel sealing strips and parallel tear strips are the same as described above in relation to the first embodiment.
  • FIGS. 30-41 show a third embodiment of a shipping container, generally designated 10B in FIG. 37. Again, like reference numerals have been applied in FIGS. 30-41 corresponding to like components described above in relation to the first and second embodiments. Also, the description of those components and the steps in fabricating container 10B will not be repeated when the descriptions are the same as in the first two embodiments.
  • Suffice it to say, shipping container 10B of the third embodiment eliminates platforms 36 and 36A of the first two embodiments of the shipping containers 10 and 10A, respectively. The result is that a large cavity 22A is formed when the container is folded during fabrication as seen in FIG. 37. The closing and sealing of container 10B is the same as in the previous embodiments as can be seen in FIGS. 38-41.
  • Shipping container 10B would be used in situations wherein the collected specimens are too large for vials 26 and/or the collection implements 28 are too large for compartments 24. For example, an entire bird carcass can be placed into shipping container 10B and shipped to a testing laboratory.
  • It will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present examples and embodiments, therefore, are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein.

Claims (59)

  1. 1. A specimen collection and shipping kit, comprising:
    at least one implement for collecting a specimen;
    at least one vial for storing the collected specimen;
    a shipping container for shipment to a testing facility, the shipping container including
    a protective box to hold the vial during shipment,
    a compartment for placing the implement thereinto for shipment with the vial, and
    resealable closure means for closing and sealing the shipping container to allow the container to be opened and inspected during shipment and resealed for final shipment to the testing facility.
  2. 2. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 1 wherein said protective box defines a box-like base having a cavity for receiving and holding the vial during shipment.
  3. 3. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 2 wherein said box-like base includes a plurality of said cavities for receiving and holding a plurality of said vials.
  4. 4. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 3 wherein said cavities are in a cluster with said compartment located alongside the cluster of cavities.
  5. 5. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 4 wherein said cluster of cavities is located centrally of the box-like base, with a pair of said compartments along opposite sides of the cluster of cavities.
  6. 6. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 1 wherein said vial includes a cup-like body and a lid to cover and close the body.
  7. 7. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 1 wherein said shipping container comprises a one-piece structure fabricated of foldable sheet material.
  8. 8. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 7 wherein said sheet material comprises corrugated cardboard or plastic.
  9. 9. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 7 wherein said shipping container includes an inner flap foldable over the protective box and the vial held thereon.
  10. 10. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 9 wherein at least a portion of said inner flap is at least translucent td afford visualization of the vial therebeneath.
  11. 11. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 9 wherein said inner flap is foldable over the compartment and the implement placed therewithin.
  12. 12. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 11 wherein at least a portion of said inner flap is at least translucent to afford visualization of the vial and the implement therebeneath.
  13. 13. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 9 wherein said shipping container includes an outer flap foldable over the inner flap and providing said resealable closure means.
  14. 14. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 13 wherein said outer flap includes a first releasable seal and at least a second reseal.
  15. 15. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 14 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means respectively correlated to said first releasable seal and said second reseal to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in effecting the seal and reseal.
  16. 16. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 15 wherein said indicia means are on the inner flap.
  17. 17. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 9 wherein said inner flap comprises a first inner flap, and including a second inner flap foldable over the first inner flap.
  18. 18. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 17 wherein said shipping container includes an outer flap foldable over the inner flaps and providing said resealable closure means.
  19. 19. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 1 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means thereon including indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in initially packing the container and subsequently inspecting the container.
  20. 20. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 19 wherein said indicia means include indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the contents of the container.
  21. 21. The specimen collection and shipping kit of claim 1 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means thereon including indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the contents of the container.
  22. 22. A shipping container for shipping specimens from collection sites to testing facilities, comprising:
    a base for holding a specimen-containing vial during shipment, the base including a compartment for receiving at least one implement used in collecting the specimen; and
    resealable closure means for closing and sealing the shipping container to allow the container to be opened and inspected during shipment and resealed for final shipment to the testing facility.
  23. 23. The shipping container of claim 22 wherein said base is a box-like structure having a cavity for receiving and holding the vial during shipment.
  24. 24. The shipping container of claim 23 wherein said box-like base includes a plurality of said cavities for receiving and holding a plurality of said vials.
  25. 25. The shipping container of claim 24 wherein said cavities are in a cluster with said compartment located alongside the cluster of cavities.
  26. 26. The shipping container of claim 25 wherein said cluster of cavities is located centrally of the box-like base, with a pair of said compartments along opposite sides of the cluster of cavities.
  27. 27. The shipping container of claim 22 wherein said shipping container comprises a one-piece structure fabricated of foldable sheet material.
  28. 28. The shipping container of claim 27 wherein said sheet material comprises corrugated cardboard or plastic.
  29. 29. The shipping container of claim 27 wherein said shipping container includes an inner flap foldable over the base, the specimen-containing vial in the base and the implement-containing compartment.
  30. 30. The shipping container of claim 29 wherein said shipping container includes an outer flap foldable over the inner flap and providing said resealable closure means.
  31. 31. The shipping container of claim 30 wherein said outer flap includes a first releasable seal and at least a second reseal.
  32. 32. the shipping container of claim 31 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means respectively correlated to said first releasable seal and said second reseal to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in effecting the seal and reseal.
  33. 33. The shipping container of claim 32 wherein said indicia means are on the inner flap.
  34. 34. The shipping container of claim 29 wherein said inner flap comprises a first inner flap, and including a second inner flap foldable over the first inner flap.
  35. 35. The shipping container of claim 34 wherein said shipping container includes an outer flap foldable over the inner flaps and providing said resealable closure means.
  36. 36. The shipping container of claim 22 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means thereof including indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in initially packing the container and subsequently inspecting the container.
  37. 37. The shipping container of claim 36 wherein said indicia means include indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the contents of the container.
  38. 38. The shipping container of claim 22 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means thereon including indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the contents of the container.
  39. 39. A shipping container for shipping specimens from collection sites to testing facilities, comprising:
    a base for holding a collected specimen; and
    a resealable closure means for closing and sealing the base to allow the container to be opened and inspected during shipment and resealed for final shipment to the testing facility.
  40. 40. The shipping container of claim 39 wherein said base is a box-like structure for receiving and holding the collected specimen.
  41. 41. The shipping container of claim 39 wherein said shipping container comprises a one-piece structure fabricated of foldable sheet material.
  42. 42. The shipping container of claim 41 wherein said sheet material comprises corrugated cardboard or plastic.
  43. 43. The shipping container of claim 41 wherein said shipping container includes an inner flap foldable over the base and the collected specimen held in the base.
  44. 44. The shipping container of claim 43 wherein said shipping container includes an outer flap foldable over the inner flap and providing said resealable closure means.
  45. 45. The shipping container of claim 44 wherein said outer flap includes a first releasable seal and at least a second reseal.
  46. 46. The shipping container of claim 45 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means respectively correlated to said first releasable seal and said second reseal to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in effecting the seal and reseal.
  47. 47. The shipping container of claim 46 wherein said indicia means are on the inner flap.
  48. 48. The shipping container of claim 43 wherein said inner flap comprises a first inner flap, and including a second inner flap foldable over the first inner flap.
  49. 49. The shipping container of claim 48 wherein said shipping container includes an outer flap foldable over the inner flaps and providing said resealable closure means.
  50. 50. The shipping container of claim 39 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means thereof including indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the protocol in initially packing the container and subsequently inspecting the container.
  51. 51. The shipping container of claim 50 wherein said indicia means include indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the contents of the container.
  52. 52. The shipping container of claim 39 wherein said shipping container includes indicia means thereon including indicia to be filled in by a user to indicate the contents of the container.
  53. 53. A blank formed from a single sheet of material to be folded into a specimen collection and shipping container, comprising:
    a generally rectangular bottom panel having first and second opposite sides and third and fourth opposite sides with all sides being mutually perpendicular to each other;
    a platform panel attached to the first side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the platform panel is foldable over the bottom panel in an elevated position, the platform panel being configured for holding a specimen-containing vial during shipment;
    an inner panel attached to the third side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the inner panel is foldable over the platform panel and the vial held thereby; and
    an outer panel attached to the second side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the outer panel is foldable over the inner panel.
  54. 54. The blank of claim 53 wherein said platform panel is of a smaller size than the bottom panel whereby a compartment is formed along at least one side of the platform panel to create a compartment for receiving an implement used in the collection of a specimen.
  55. 55. The blank of claim 53 wherein said inner panel comprises a first inner panel, and including a second inner panel attached to the fourth side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the second inner panel is foldable over the first inner panel.
  56. 56. The blank of claim 53, including a closure panel attached to a free end of said outer panel along at least one longitudinal fold line whereby the closure panel is foldable over an outside of the bottom panel.
  57. 57. The blank of claim 53 wherein said elevated platform panel is blanked with a plurality of apertures to form cavities for holding a plurality of specimen-collecting vials.
  58. 58. A blank formed from a single sheet of material to be folded into a specimen collection and shipping container, comprising:
    a generally rectangular bottom panel having first and second opposite sides and third and fourth opposite sides with all sides being mutually perpendicular to each other;
    an inner panel attached to the third side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the inner panel is foldable over the bottom panel in a box-like configuration;
    an outer panel attached to the second side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the outer panel is foldable over the inner panel; and
    a closure panel foldable over an outside of the bottom panel.
  59. 59. The blank of claim 58 wherein said inner panel comprises a first inner panel, and including a second inner panel attached to the fourth side of the bottom panel along longitudinal fold lines whereby the second inner panel is foldable over the first inner panel.
US11230162 2005-09-19 2005-09-19 Specimen collection and shipping kit and container therefor Abandoned US20070062842A1 (en)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2521993A (en) * 2013-06-03 2015-07-15 Mast Group Ltd Container for transporting a biological sample
GB2521993B (en) * 2013-06-03 2018-03-21 Mast Group Ltd A method for manufacturing a container for transporting a biological sample

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