Specimen Collection

Collection Tube Order of Draw

Collection Order Quick Reference Sheet

Due to the high sensitivity of modern testing at RML, proper collection is important to the specimen integrity. In most cases, the results you receive are only as good as the specimen that was collected. Proper storage temperature and avoiding hemolysis are just a few things in this section that are paramount in helping us provide accurate results. Some tests require whole blood, plasma or serum for testing. The collection tubes contain different types of additives, which are specific for the individual test(s).

The draw order for specimen tubes is as follows:

  1. Blood culture
  2. Red, No Gel (Plain tube, no clot additive)
  3. Blue tube for coagulation (Sodium Citrate)
  4. Red or Yellow-Gold SST (Plain tube w/gel and clot activator additive)
  5. Green and Dark Green (Heparin, with and without gel)
  6. Lavender (EDTA)
  7. Pink - Blood Bank (EDTA)
  8. Gray (Oxalate/Fluoride)

(List Updated 10/01/2009)

If blood is drawn by use of a syringe, transfer the specimen into the appropriate collection tube(s) by puncturing the rubber stopper with the syringe needle and allowing the blood to be drawn into the tube by the vacuum. After the blood has stopped flowing, withdraw the needle. For integrity purposes, DO NOT force the blood into the tube. This can cause adverse changes affecting the quality of the specimen. Gently mix the blood by inverting the tube 10 times.

These guidelines must be followed in order to maintain the integrity of the specimen, providing optimal results.