Objectives: Pneumatic tube transportation of samples is an effective way of reducing turn-around-time, but evidence of the effect of pneumatic tube transportation on urine samples is lacking. We thus wished to investigate the effect of pneumatic tube transportation on various components in urine, in order to determine if pneumatic tube transportation of these samples is feasible.
Methods: One-hundred fresh urine samples were collected in outpatient clinics and partitioned with one partition being carried by courier to the laboratory, while the other was sent by pneumatic tube system (Tempus600). Both partitions were then analysed for soluble components and particles, and the resulting mean difference and limits of agreement were calculated.
Results: Albumin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, protein and squamous epithelial cells were unaffected by transportation in the Tempus600 system, while bacteria, renal tubular epithelial cells, white blood cells and red blood cells were affected and potassium and sodium may have been affected.
Conclusions: Though pneumatic tube transportation did affect some of the investigated components, in most cases the changes induced were clinically acceptable, and hence samples could be safely transported by the Tempus600 pneumatic tube system. For bacteria, white blood cells and red blood cells local quality demands will determine if pneumatic tube transportation is appropriate.