Stanford Hospital's pneumatic tube wonderland

Stanford Hospital's four miles of pneumatic pipes are used to deliver documents and samples, with 124 stations and 29 blowers:

In four miles of tubing laced behind walls from basement to rooftop, the pneumatic tube system shuttles foot-long containers carrying everything from blood to medication. In a hospital the size of Stanford, where a quarter-mile's distance might separate a tissue specimen from its destination lab, making good time means better medicine…

Its architecture is a sophisticated design of switching points, waiting areas, sending and receiving points. It hosts 124 stations (every nursing unit has its own); 141 transfer units, 99 inter-zone connectors and 29 blowers. To help alert employees to the arrival of containers, the system has more than three dozen different combinations of chiming tones…

Depending on the diameter of a tube, cylinders can reach speeds of up to 25 feet per second, about 18 miles per hour, far faster than any human could ever manage.

Gone with the wind: Tubes are whisking samples across hospital

(via Medgadget)