Biological Specimen Transport by Pneumatic Tube System

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In general, lab specimens should be labeled and submitted to the lab with the proper paperwork as soon after collection as possible. Most specimens can be sent by pneumatic tube system. The following items CANNOT be sent by pneumatic tube:
  • Blood products for transfusion
  • Surgical pathology tissue specimens
  • Spinal fluid
  • Any other specimen considered to be non-recollectable
  • Specimens in containers too large to fit in pneumatic tube carriers
  • Chemotherapeutic and biohazardous agents to and from Pharmacy
  • Controlled substances

When using the pneumatic tube system to transport lab specimens:

  1. Ensure that the container is firmly sealed; tighten screwcap lids
  2. Place the specimen in a sealed plastic ziplock bag
  3. Double-bag urine and stool specimens. For specimens needing to be transported on ice, place the bagged specimens in a bag of ice, Cap syringes (do not send syringes with needles attached!)
  4. Select a carrier with a foam liner
  5. Place the bagged specimen in the carrier on the liner so that it cannot rattle against the inner hard surface of the tube carrier
  6. Do not allow any part of the plastic bag to remain outside the carrier. The plastic bag can shear off and become lodged in the tube system blowers, causing downtime for repair
  7. Close the carrier tightly and send to one of the lab’s tube stations:
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