Specimen Handling

  1. When collecting multiple blood tubes the following is the recommended sequence:
    a) Blood Cultures
    b) Red Top
    c) Blue Top
    d) Gold SST Barrier
    e) Green Top, plain or SST
    f) Lavender Top
    g) Gray Top
  2. Mix ALL tubes with anticoagulants (especially Blue, Green, Lavender and Gray) by inverting 6-8 times after filling. Gold SST Barrier tubes and Red Top Tubes should be allowed to clot for at least 20 minutes before centrifuging.
  3. Do not remove the stopper on any blood tubes. Stoppers should remain on the tube prior to and during centrifugation. Barrier tubes must be centrifuged for at least 15 minutes at a speed of 3000-3500 RPM's. Centrifugation should occur within 30 minutes of drawing.
  4. When it is necessary to remove serum from a tube, use a disposable transfer pipette to place serum in a plastic screw top tube.
  5. Warning: All blood and body fluid should be considered as potentially infections. Gloves and a lab coat must be worn when procuring or handling blood and body fluid specimens. Blood procurement safety devices must be used when drawing blood. The safety devices and instruction on their use can be obtained from the McLaren Northern Michigan Laboratory.