A carrier prototype by Aerocom® (Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany) for pneumatic tube systems (PTS) is able to transport 9 blood tubes which are automatically fixed by closing the lid. In this study, we examined the influence of the transport on blood sample quality using the carrier prototype comparing to courier transport and a conventional carrier (AD160, Aerocom®).
Triplicate blood samples sets (1 lithium heparin, 1 EDTA, 1 sodium citrate) of 35 probands were split among the transportation methods: 1. courier, 2. conventional carrier, and 3. carrier prototype. After transport 51 measurands from clinical chemistry, hematology and coagulation were measured and compared.
Overall, 49 of the investigated 51 measurands showed a good concordance among the three transport types, especially between the conventional carrier and the carrier prototype. Focusing on well-known hemolysis sensitive measurands, potassium showed no statistically significant differences. However, between courier and both carrier types lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and free hemoglobin (fHb) showed statistically significant shifts, whereas the clinical impact of the identified differences was neglectable. The median concentration of fHb, for example, was 0.29 g/L (18 µmol/L), 0.31 g/L (19 µmol/L) and 0.32 g/L (20 µmol/L) for courier transport, conventional carrier and carrier prototype, respectively. These differences cannot be resolved analytically since the minimal difference (MD) for fHb is 0.052 g/L (3.23 µmol/L), at this concentration.
The carrier prototype by Aerocom® is suitable for transportation of diagnostic blood samples. The overall workflow is improved by decreasing hands-on-time on the ward and laboratory while minimizing the risk of incorrectly packed carriers.
The study was supported by Aerocom (Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany).
Research funding: This study was in part funded by Aerocom® (Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany).
Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.
Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.
Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.
Ethical approval: The study was approved by the local ethics committee (BB 100/15).
Data availability: The datasets generated and analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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