In the light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, NSW Health Pathology (NSWHP) has reviewed the use of pneumatic tubes for the transport of patient samples between NSW public hospitals and NSW Health Pathology’s on-site laboratories.
Pneumatic tubes, properly used and maintained, remain safe for the carriage of all blood samples requiring transport between NSW public hospitals and on-site NSW Health Pathology labs.
Blood samples collected from a patient who is a strongly suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 can be sent via the pneumatic tube in blood tubes in line with standard practice.
This is a respiratory virus spread and acquired by the respiratory route. It is not a blood borne virus.
In line with the latest infection prevention and control guidance from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), NSWHP strongly recommends pneumatic tube not be used for the following samples from patient strongly suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19:
This is to avoid the possibility of leakage in the pneumatic tube, which would then require decommissioning and cleaning before being returned to service.
These samples should be securely packaged up and hand delivered to the on-site NSW Health Pathology laboratory central specimen reception.
The latest CDC recommendation on pneumatic tube use for COVID-19 samples.
Should you require any further information, please contact your local NSWHP Laboratory Manager or Local Pathology Director.
NSW Health Pathology
NSWHP Emergency Operations Centre Incident Controller
Clinical staff working in areas with access to a pneumatic tube specimen transport system.