Many hospitals in the UK may not be using proven medical bags, an analysis of market data by Versapak group has revealed.

This may be because the hospitals are unaware of the relevant guidelines, or their supplier has not provided the necessary certification to demonstrate full compliance, the study adds.

Versapak worked closely with the Department for Transport to develop medical bags that would comply with the newly-introduced PI650 packaging instructions contained within guideline UN3373.

The guideline refers to ‘Category B’ substances, usually non-infectious blood and organ samples, being transported for testing.

Under the guideline, packaging should feature a primary receptacle, secondary packaging and outer packaging, and the overall package must be marked with the code ‘UN3373’ and be strong enough to pass a drop test of at least 1.2m.

According to Versapak, many hospitals still may not be able to confirm beyond doubt whether the bags they use are compliant.

Versapak supplies a range of compliant products to hospitals and has supplied bags to approximately two-thirds of NHS hospitals, private hospitals and clinics since launching the approved range.