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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2019 Jan-Jun;13(1):3-9. doi: 10.4103/ajts.AJTS_52_18.

Reducing delivery times of emergency blood products through pneumatic tube systems.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore.



Recent advances in damage control resuscitation have advocated a push for early transfusion to maintain circulating volume and minimization of crystalloid use. While measures such as using rapid-matched group specific blood or uncrossmatched blood have been implemented to shorten this wait, delivery times can still be improved. We explored reducing delivery times by use of a pneumatic tube delivery system already built in our hospital. Few studies have evaluated this using fresh blood samples for one-way transport. We modified and evaluated our pneumatic tube delivery system for delivery timings and quality parameters; designing a robust protocol that also tested aged blood for simulated returns unlike other previous studies.


Delivery timings of emergency blood products by our present portering system were collected and compared against that of products sent through the pneumatic tube system (PTS). The samples sent through the PTS were also tested and analyzed for temperature, quality, and hemolysis in accordance with established blood banking quality guidelines.


Blood products delivered by our PTS showed satisfactory conformance with all parameters of temperature, timing, and hemolysis. We showed a significant reduction in transport delivery times from mean of 8 min 43 s to 2 min 23 s.


Delivery of blood products by our modified PTS is safe and significantly reduces delivery time. This time savings could be clinically significant in resuscitation. Usage of the PTS could also cut down on workforce utilization of porters, freeing them up for other tasks in the hospital.


Blood transfusion; damage control resuscitation; delivery times; hemolysis; massive transfusion protocol; pneumatic tube systems

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