The Effect of Pneumatic Tube Systems on the Hemolysis of Biochemistry Blood Samples

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Abstract

Introduction:

Pneumatic tube systems (PTSs) are widely used in many hospitals because they lead to reduced turnaround times and cost efficiency. However, PTSs may affect the quality of the blood samples transported to the laboratory. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the PTS used in our hospital on the hemolysis of the biochemical blood samples transported to the laboratory.

Methods:

A total of 148 samples were manually transported to the laboratory by hospital staff, 148 samples were transported with the PTS, and 113 were transported with the PTS without use of sponge-rubber inserts (PTSws). Hemolysis rates and the levels of biochemical analytes for the different transportation methods were compared.

Results:

No significant difference was found between the samples transported manually and with the PTS with regard to hemolysis rate and the levels of biochemical analytes. However, the samples transported with the PTSws showed a significant difference compared with the samples transported manually and with the PTS with regard to hemolysis rate and potassium and lactate dehydrogenase levels. The percentages of the samples that exceeded the permissible threshold for the hemolysis among the samples transported manually, with the PTS, and with the PTSws were 10%, 8%, and 47%, respectively.

Discussion:

A PTS can be used safely for transporting biochemistry blood samples to the laboratory. However, a sponge-rubber insert that holds sample tubes must be used with the PTS to prevent the hemolysis of blood samples.

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