Blood Specimens
Please refer to the appropriate test in the departmental service index (from the front screen or tab bar on the left hand side) for details of type of specimen and any special sampling conditions which may be necessary.

For Blood Transfusion please refer to the appropriate section. Link to Phelebotomy Services information.

Use the appropriate tube (refer to analyte tables in the Handbook, Wallchart or these web pages, when in doubt contact the laboratory) and fill to the mark indicated on the tube. Label clearly with patient's name, Unit No., date of birth, ward, date and time of specimen collection.

AVOID CONTAMINATION - When taking a series of blood specimens, it essential that the plain white serum sample is taken first, followed by the orange Lithium heparin sample and any EDTA tubes last of all. Failure to adhere to this sequence will lead to contamination of blood samples with anticoagulants/preservatives.
This contamination produces spurious and invalid results in major biochemical parameters. (Click here for a guide to EDTA contamination). Click here for Spurious results - due to collection/storage information

Avoid haemolysis, drip contamination, over-heating and prolonged venous constriction.

Ensure thorough and instant mixing of blood with anticoagulant (heparin, fluoride EDTA or potassium EDTA) for plasma samples. Do not transfer blood from one tube to another eg EDTA to Lithium heparin.

Clinical Chemistry samples should arrive in the laboratory within 4-6 hrs of collection.

Do not place Clinical Biochemistry blood samples in the fridge (4C) prior to collection or leave overnight at room temperature as this can severley affect some results e.g. potassium. If in doubt, please contact the laboratory (ext 4230 or 4235) for advice.

Leaking blood tubes will be discarded.

DO NOT send blood gas samples to the laboratory via the pneumatic tube systems.

DO NOT send blood gas samples to the laboratory with the needle attached.