Friday, July 12, 2013


Vacutainer tubes: 
-Purple or lavender - contains EDTA. This is a strong anticoagulant and these tubes are usually used for complete blood counts (CBC) and blood films. Lavender top tubes are generally used when whole blood is needed for analysis. 
-Green - Contains sodium heparin or lithium heparin used for plasma determinations in clinical chemistry
-Black - Used for ESR also known as Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate or "sed rate."
-Grey - These tubes contain fluoride and oxalate. Fluoride prevents enzymes in the blood from working, by preventing the stage called glycolysis so a substrate such as glucose will not be gradually used up during storage. Oxalate is an anticoagulant.
-Red top PLASTIC tubes: Contains a clot activator and is used when serum is needed
-Orange or Grey/Yellow 'Tiger' Top: Contain Thrombin, a rapid clot activator, for STAT serum testing
-Light yellow - Contains sodium polyanethol sulfonate (SPS). Used for blood culture specimens or acid-citrate-dextrose (ACD), used for blood bank studies, HLA phenotyping, and parental testing.
-Light blue - Contain a measured amount of citrate. Citrate is a reversible anticoagulant, and these tubes are used for coagulation assays. Because the liquid citrate dilutes the blood, it is important the tube is full so the dilution is properly accounted for.

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