This is a general guide to handling your monthly blood samples while you're waiting for a kidney transplant at Henry Ford Hospital.
How to send in your blood sample.
If you use a Henry Ford lab, the staff will handle getting your blood back to the transplant team. If you do not use a Henry Ford lab, it is your responsibility to get your blood work back to the Henry Ford team. And that is why we send you this kit.
• A vial for your blood sample
• A document requesting your blood sample, which includes the label for your vial. The label should be completed and attached to the vial by your lab technician
• A small foam box, containing the vial for your blood
• A rubber band, which you’ll wrap around the foam box
• A bio-safe plastic bag, which you’ll put the foam box into
• A UPS shipping bag
• And a pre-printed UPS shipping label
We also suggest you have your blood drawn on Monday through Thursday, and a blood sample drawn on a Friday, most likely won’t arrive until Monday. This time lapse shouldn’t effect your sample, but it’s not ideal.
You may ask why it is so important to send in your monthly blood work. This blood work that you send in every month, we store at our storage facility. We keep this blood work with us, for when a kidney comes available, we use it for cross matching. If we do not have this blood, we will pass you up and go to the next patient. That’s why it’s very important for you to send in the blood work for transplant. Some patients may ask if they can use blood drawn by their primary care doctor, or their kidney doctor. Unfortunately, the only blood work we can use at the time of transplant is the blood you send to us.
How to send your blood sample to the transplant team:
When the sample is taken, the technician should attach the pre-printed label and the give it to you. Verify that the technician put on our pre-printed label, which is in the lower left hand corner of the document, and be sure that it includes your name, date-of-birth and your M.R.N. or Medical Record Number. The technician should add to the label the draw date, draw time and their initials. Once the technician hands you the vial, look at the label to be sure all the information is filled in. Then, put the vial back into its foam box.
Now, put the rubber band around the box and the box into the bio-safe plastic bag. Next, take the document and put it into the bio-safe plastic bag. Squeeze out as much of the air in the bag as you easily can, and zip it shut.
Next, put the zipped bio-safe bag into the cardboard box with the Henry Ford logo on it. Then place the cardboard box the in the UPS shipping bag. Seal the bag and label it with the pre-printed UPS shipping label,
Save the other half of the page the label came on. It contains your tracking number, in the rare case your package becomes lost.
Shipping for your blood sample is pre-paid… There is no charge to you. You can drop the packaged blood sample, at any UPS Store, or in any UPS drop box.
You can also leave it at any UPS Access Point location. Access Point locations are local merchants who have agreed to accept and send prepaid packages for UPS customers. The locations are indicated by the sign on their door or counter, and are listed on the UPS web site.
To find your nearest UPS location, go to UPS.com.
We encourage you to drop your blood off with UPS on the way home from the lab. Blood, unrefrigerated, has a very short shelf life. We need to receive it, and place it in refrigerated storage as soon as possible. If you absolutely have to make a stop between your lab and the UPS location, be sure to store the blood sample in a cool, dry place.