Ensure Safer Transport – Important Steps for Infection Control in Pneumatic System

NHS (National Patient Safety Agency) highly recommends that the infection control precautions must be applied at all times in health care facilities. Even WHO (World Health Organization) maintains guidelines concerning importance of proper surface cleaning for infection control.

Below is a complete list of infection control guidelines for lab personnel and hospital transporting materials in pneumatic tubes for hospitals. Read on and ensure having better understanding of it.

Container testing

It is highly recommended to validate integrity of sample as well as medication containers before using them in pneumatic tubes. This is done to determine which of the containers meet requirements for leak resistant and safe transport. The safe containers are then chosen for important transport activities. There are even specialty carriers that can be selected to make sure that hazardous or fragile materials are transported properly.

Specimen packaging

According to universal guidelines that are developed by CDC as well as adopted by OSHA, all the body fluids and blood must be handled as hazardous and infectious material. Specifically, designed pouches and padded carrier liners should be used to ensure containment and integrity of specimens. The following method must be applied.

System spill containment

  • Place all the primary containers having body fluids in transparent plastic bags.
  • Insert the container between the foam pads and properly place it in carrier.
  • Place the requisition slips in between the foam and plastic bag.
  • Send the carrier according to the facility protocol.
  • In case of any leak, make sure using requisition for identifying specimen source as well as other pertinent information to recollect specimen.

It is recommended that all of the PTS carriers must be inspected for the spillage upon receipt. This process addresses the issue of decontamination when the container leak affects outside of carrier or pneumatic tube itself. If any leak has contaminated just inside of carrier, then set it aside and follow the below mentioned steps for system decontamination.

  • In case spillage is present on exterior of the carrier, stop sending the carriers immediately from station where it was noticed first.
  • When leaking carrier is being received, use “special emergency stop code”.
  • Notify facility maintenance department so that they can initiate system cleanup procedure.
  • Remove carrier contents by making use of proper PPE.
  • After completion of cleaning, have department responsible for the system’s decontamination and returning it to service again.
  • Complete incident report as per the hospital facility process.

System decontamination

The task force of hospital advisory must determine which of the disinfectant shall be used for decontaminating carriers, system, and the packaging products. Test cleaning agent to make sure that it doesn’t affect the system components adversely. For disinfecting foam liner, you can choose one of following mentioned list.

  • Steriliz by EtO (Ethylene Oxide) Gas.
  • Soak in proper mycobacctericidal germicide solution. Rinse as well as allow it to dry.

Infection control must be the major concern for all of the healthcare facilities to maintain healthy and safe environment. Simple yet profound measures for addressing infection control can easily contribute to safer and cleaner transport system.