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Am J Clin Pathol. 1978 Aug;70(2):291-5.

Implementation of a pneumatic-tube system for transport of blood specimens.


Whole-blood specimens were transported through an installed 485-meter pneumatic-tube system dedicated to blood transport. The system featured constant-speed, low-carrier-velocity travel (3.6 m/sec) with controlled deceleration prior to arrival at its destination. Inserts were designed with ample use of padding to minimize agitation during transport and landing. Serum potassium, hemoglobin, and lactate dehydrogenase activity and whole-blood pH, PCO2, and PO2 were not altered in freshly drawn blood transported in this system. Partial filling or heparinization of the specimen containers did not alter the results. When specimens were allowed to clot prior to pneumatic-tube transport, significantly higher levels of serum lactate dehydrogenase were obtained. This study demonstrates that transport of whole-blood specimens by pneumatic tube without damage to blood components is feasible.

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