Blood used for transfusions and surgery is being transported through central Greece by KTEL intercity buses as the state’s 500,000-euro annual contract with a courier firm expired last month and has not yet been renewed, it was revealed yesterday. The unorthodox method of transportation came to light after an unclaimed cooler containing an unidentified quantity of blood was found at the KTEL intercity bus station in Larissa. The bags of blood had been left unclaimed at the station for 10 days. The director of the local hospital, Costas Karabatsas, has ordered an internal investigation. Larissa Hospital operates a blood donation center and Karabatsas told Kathimerini that contributions are sent there from other parts of central Greece. Karabatsas said that the hospital has been using the buses to make up for the lack of a courier service. He said transporting the blood bags in coolers with dry ice is perfectly safe as the bus journeys rarely last 45 minutes and normally hospital staff are notified to pick up the shipments immediately.