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Rush Medical Laboratories
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR BLOOD COLLECTION
Phlebotomy
Whenever possible, collect the blood directly into the required tube using the evacuated tube and needle holder device. If blood is collected into a syringe, it can be transferred to an evacuated tube. Do not remove the stopper; slowly inject the blood through the stopper down the side of the tube. Do not overfill the tube by forcing the plunger down on the syringe. Transfer by this method may hemolyze the specimen and produce spurious results for certain clinical chemistry tests, notably potassium.

Volume Requirements
Volume requirements are listed for each test (See Specimen/Minimum Volume section for specific test). To determine the amount of whole blood needed to yield the required volume of plasma or serum, multiply the specimen required by 2 to 2.5.

Blood Collection Tube Drawing Order
  1. Blood cultures
  2. Blue top
  3. Serum tubes SST, red, etc.
  4. Green top tubes
  5. Lavender top
  6. Fluoride (grey) tube
After blood is collected, gently invert all tubes several times to mix the additive or anticoagulant.

Timed Specimens/Multiple Specimens
If more than one timed specimen for the same test is collected, the collection time MUST be indicated on each tube (i.e. glucose tolerance testing, drug level analysis, etc).

Fasting Specimens
Prior to collection, no food or beverages are to be ingested, except water, for 12-14 hours. Water and medication are allowed unless specifically prohibited by test requirements or a physician's order.


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