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Everything you need to know about collection tubes, for the purpose of venipuncture procedures.

"Becuase Better Specimens Generate Perfect Goals".

This is a phrase used to help students and Phlebotomist remember the "Order of draw".

Blood Cultures = Because
Blue top = Better
Speckled top = Specimens
Green top = Generate
Purple top = Perfect
Grey top = Goals

Each tube contains an additive.

Additives are chemicals inside the tubes that when mixed with blood cause a specific reaction required for testing and lab work.

What is the Additive in a blood culture or "Culture and Sensitivity" ?

Answer: Chicken broth

What is the purpose of a blood culture?

Answer: A blood culture is to identify the bug and what it is sensitive to.

What is the purpose for the chicken broth?

Answer: To feed the bug, keeping it alive.

What other additive is in a BC bottle ( Blood culture bottle) ?

Answer: Charcoal

What is the purpose of the additive, charcoal?

Answer: If the patient is on antibiotics that will disrupt the curing process and can negatively effect the result of the test. The Charcoal kills off the antibiotics.

How long does it take to run a culture and sensitivity?

Answer: 72 hours

Do bugs grow better and cleaner when inverted?

Answer: Yes

Blue top = What additive?

Answer: Sodium Citrate

What will the additive produce?

Answer: Plasma

What does the additive prevent?

Answer: Sodium Citrate prevents clotting and stops fiberinogen (hair-like fibers)

Is the spinning process on the specimen STAT?

Answer: Yes

What is the spin time on the blue top?

Answer: 3 minutes

Why would we not hesitate to retrieve the sample after it has taken a spin in the centrifuge?

Answer: Because the specimen will start projecting false - positives.

Speckled tube = What additive?

Answer: Thixotropic gel or Polamer Barrier

What is the purpose of the polamer barrier?

Answer: To produce serum, for serum separation.

After collection the phlebotomist must wait how long for the specimen to clot?

Answer: 30-45

Should we spin the speckled tube before or after the clotting process has taken place?

Answer: After the 30-45 minutes are complete and the specimen has clotted

How long is the spin time on a speckled tube?

Answer: 10 minutes

Green top = what additive?

Answer: Lithium Heparin and Sodium Heparin

What is the purpose of the additive lithium heparin?

Answer: Lithium heparin catches the enzymes in the blood and prevent clotting.

Is the Green top a STAT spin?

Answer: Yes

Why is the Green top a STAT spin?

Answer: Because the majority of the test run out of a green tube have to do with the heart. The heart is always a STAT.

How long is the spin cycle for a Green top?

Answer 5 minutes

Purple tube = what additive?

Answer: K2 EDTA = Whole blood

What is whole blood?

Answer: All components of the blood together.

What is the purpose of the additive?

Answer: To catch the enzymes and prevent clotting.

Do we spin the purple tube?

Answer: No

Grey top = what additive?

Answer: Sodium fluoride, Potassium oxalate = plasma

Is the grey top spun?

Answer: Yes

What is the purpose of the additives in the grey tube?

Answer: The fluoride freezes the cell in time, keeping it from releasing anymore information. The Oxalate preserves the chemicals ie. Alcohol levels, arsenic,glucose in the body. Keeping the chemicals from dissipating.

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