Clinical Hub,References,Laboratory Services,Specimen Collection, Container Types and Processing (UWHC)

Transport of Specimens (via Pneumatic Tube)

Transport of Specimens (via Pneumatic Tube) - Clinical Hub, References, Laboratory Services, Specimen Collection, Container Types and Processing (UWHC)


Transport Via Pneumatic Tube Within UWHC

Refer to the Clinical Laboratories Test Directory for test specific transport requirements. The Translogic® Pneumatic Tube System is used for transport within the CSC building and for transport between CSC and AFCH. The same carriers are used for laboratory specimens and clean products such as pharmaceuticals and small food items.

In compliance with the OSHA Blood Borne Pathogens Standard, all patient specimens must be properly packaged prior to transport. All specimens must be transported in the approved "self sealing" bags marked with the appropriate biohazard symbol. Potentially infectious items must be contained and transported in a manner that prevents breakage, leakage or contamination of the system. A combination of disposable zip top bags and reusable Zip N' Fold pouches are used to package and immobilize items.

Items not approved for transport in the Pneumatic Tube System:

  1. 24 hour urine specimens
  2. Glass vacuum bottles ≥ 250 mLs
  3. Specimens contained in plastic vials from lumbar puncture kits since vials may leak
  4. Empty blood bags
  5. Blood bags, IV sets, IV solutions that have been implicated in a possible transfusion reaction

    Note: Specimens for Platelet Function Screen or Platelet Aggregation must be hand delivered to the laboratory.

Please use the following guidelines when packaging laboratory specimens for transport. Always use Standard Precautions.

  1. Ensure that all lids, stoppers, screw caps, etc. are secure and that the specimen container is not leaking. If the sender has any concerns about the specimen or container integrity being maintained during transport, especially for specimens that are unique or difficult to recollect, consider hand delivery to the lab.
  2. Place labeled specimen(s) into clean biohazard specimen bag. Place labeled request form in outside sleeve of specimen bag (Central Services Item #1202065). Follow these specific packaging notes:
    • Blood culture bottles: Package one bottle per zip top bag with bottleneck towards the bottom of the bag and seal the bag. Place a black foam collar over the neck of each bagged bottle over the outside of the plastic bag. Bind the bottles together with a rubber band to immobilize.
    • Blood gas syringes: Do not send on ice - specimen must be received within 30 minutes of collection
    • Capillary blood gas: Wrap a 4 x 4 gauze around capillary tube. Place capillary tube into the barrel of a labeled 60 cc syringe.
    • Homocysteine specimens: Bind a cooler pack around blood tube with a rubber band
    • Urine cups: Ensure that the paper tab is not caught under the lid and tighten the lid (patient label needs to be placed on the specimen container, not on the cap of specimen container)
    • Specimens needing to be kept warm, such as Cryoglobulin or Cold Agglutinins: Bind a warm pack around tube(s) with a rubber band
  3. Press air from zip top bag and seal
  4. Place biohazard specimen bag into a Red Biohazard Zip N' Fold pouch
  5. Seal Zip N' Fold pouch
  6. Fold Zip N' Fold pouch until Velcro attaches
  7. Always send specimens and corresponding paperwork in the same pod
  8. Place pouch in carrier, place carrier in station launch pad and send to laboratory station #120


Refer to Mailing and Transport Regulations for those samples that will be shipped to UWHC Clinical Laboratories.