Blood Tubes

Blood Samples (last reviewed 8 Jan 2014)

 

Notes     

  • Check repertoire for correct vacuum blood tube type.
  • Out-of-date sample bottles will be refused - please note expiry date of container before use.
  • Additives (anti-coagulant etc) in tubes are for appropriate preservation of samples. If an error is made, one should not transfer the blood from one tube to another as this may lead to erroneous results and may also affect laboratory equipment.
  • Please check that correct anticoagulant is used.
  • If patients are difficult to bleed a PLAIN CLOT (red) can be substituted for a GEL CLOT (gold), but not vice versa.
  • There are  Special Instructions for Transfusion samples
  • When blood is collected from a vein using a needle, please use adult bottles whenever possible.See repertoire.

Order of draw (NCCLS* recommended)

*National Committee for Clinical Standards

  • Using the following NCCLS recommended Order of Draw will reduce the possibility of effects due to the carryover of tube additives to a minimum
  • Allow tubes to fill to the mark to ensure the correct ratio of blood to tube additives. All plastic tubes contain additives, even serum tubes contain a spray dried clot activator.
  • Ensure that filled tubes are thoroughly mixed by complete inversion (not shaking) 6-8 times
Order of draw Tube Colour Tube Description Notes
Blood cultures must be taken first. To find out which bottle to take for which test, click here
1 Blue Citrate (blue) 3.5mL coagulation Sodium Citrate  
2 Red Plain clot (red) Biochemistry: 4 mL Serum Clot Activator without gel. Microbiology: 9mL Serum Clot Activator without gel Note: where plain clot is specified, Gel Clots are not suitable.
3 gold Gel Clot (Gold) 4 mL Serum Sep. Clot Activator If patients are difficult to bleed a PLAIN CLOT (red) can be substituted for a GEL CLOT (gold), but not vice versa.
4 green LITH HEP (Green) 4 mL Lithium Heparin  
5 purple, pink EDTA (purple) 4 mL EDTA  
6 Xmatch EDTA (pink) 6 mL EDTA  
7 grey FLU OXA (grey) 4 mL Fluoride Oxalate  
8 royal blue TRACE (dark blue) 6 mL Sodium Heparin Trace Elements  
9   any other