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Is there a limit to how many times a unit of RBC's can be sent via pneumatic tube?

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I have a quick question:  Is there a limit to how many times a unit of rbc's can be sent via pneumatic tube?


I sent a unit to the floor.  The nurse called me within 5 minutes and apparently the IV had infiltrated and she couldn't hang the blood.  I had her send it back to me as it had not been spiked.  The temp was fine and I put it back in the fridge.  I could not find any documentation in our procedures about it and looked on the net etc..  My gut feeling was that I would err on the side of caution and when they requested it again the nurse had no problem with coming to the lab to pick it up (we are in a different building than the hospital).


Most of my coworkers thought I was crazy (not disputing that) so I wanted to check with you fine folks!


Haven't been online in a while and miss all of the talk!


Hello to Malcolm Needs! (I am sure he is still about)!


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Sorry but I have to agree with your co-workers on this one. :giggle:   If your tube system has been validated for one transport then I fail to see where the concern for 2 or 3 would arise. This of course is based solely on the transport part of the equation. 


Just my humble opinion based on absolutely no relevant data! So the real question now is: Who is the crazy one!  :ohmygod:

Edited by John C. Staley
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I agree. The import piece of this is that temperature was maintained.  You validation show have shown that and since you stated that temperature had been maintained, it should have been fine to resend.  The benefit to your method was that perhaps the next time, the nurse will make sure she is ready to hang the blood before requesting it be sent so she doesn't have to trek over to pick it up.  So that might have been a good plan anyway! :)

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We use the pneumatic tube system as well. But our protocol is that the floor can't return the unit via tube system. We send ours up by secure send so they have to punch in a code to retrieve the unit from the tube system and we never set it up so they could tube it down securely. I guess we would probably resend it by tube system. I hadn't thought about it.


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