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Yellow, sterile x8 Green x8

Tests: Blood culture Tests: Stat chemistry tests, ammonia, electrolytes,

Additives: Sodium polyethanol sulfonate (SPS) to arterial blood gases (ABGs), depending on heparin
inhibit complement and phagocytosis; acid citrate additive
dextrose, Sol’n A/B Additives: Sodium heparin, lithium heparin, or
Department: Microbiology ammonium heparin [inhibits thrombin formation to
Specimen: Whole blood prevent clotting]
Notes: Use this tube to recover microorganisms that Department: Chemistry
are causing blood infection; stabilize bacterial growth Specimen: Plasma

Light Blue x3-4 Lavender x8

Tests: Coagulation tests/studies Tests: Complete blood count (CBC), sedimentation rate
Additives: Sodium citrate 3.2% (glass); 3.8% (plastic) Additives: Liquid K2EDTA (glass); Spray-dried K2EDTA
[binds calcium to prevent clotting] (plastic) [calcium chelating agent]
Department: Coagulation Department: Hematology
Specimen: Plasma Specimen: Whole blood
Notes: Blood:anticoagulant – 9:1
Pink x8
Red, Plastic or Glass Tube x8 Tests: Antibody screen, compatibility test
Tests: Chemistry, serology, blood bank Additives: Spray-dried K2EDTA (binds calcium)
Additives: [Clot activators in plastic], none in glass Department: Blood bank
Department: Chemistry, serology, blood bank Specimen: Plasma or whole blood
Specimen: Serum
Notes: Clot formation in 30 mins Gray x8
Tests: Lactic acid measurement, glucose tolerance test,
Gold BD Hemogard Closure or Red-Gray x5 fasting blood sugar (FBS), blood alcohol levels
Tests: Most blood chemistry tests Additives: Iodoacetate or sodium fluoride
Additives: Clot activators, gel separator (antiglycolytic agent) [preserves glucose/inhibit
Department: Chemistry glycolysis]; potassium oxalate or heparin
Specimen: Serum (anticoagulant/binds calcium)
Notes: Also called serum separators tubes (SSTs). Clot Department: Chemistry
activator shortens time for clot formation. Gel forms Specimen: Plasma
barrier between cells and serum. Centrifuge after clot Notes: Iodoacetate preserves glucose for 24 hrs,
formation. sodium fluoride preserves glucose for 3 days
Sodium fluoride  K2EDTA,potassium oxalate
Orange BD Hemogard Closure or Yellow-Gray x8
Tests: Stat chemistry
Additives: Thrombin (clot activator) Royal Blue x8
Department: Chemistry Tests: Toxicology, trace metals, nutritional analysis
Specimen: Serum Additives: Sodium heparin, Na2EDTA, or none
Notes: Used for pts on anticoagulant therapy. Department: Chemistry, toxicology
Specimen: Plasma or serum
Notes: Tubes are chemically clean/sterile, and the
stoppers are specially formulated to prevent the release
of small amnts of materials that could contaminate the
Light Green Hemogard or Green-Gray x8 sample and give erroneous test results. Rubber stopper
Tests: (Stat) potassium determination contains low level of metals.
Additives: Lithium Heparin (prevents clotting), gel
separator (prevents contamination) Tan x8
Department: Chemistry Test: Lead analysis/determination
Specimen: Plasma Additives: Sodium Heparin (inhibits thrombin
Notes: Also called plasma separator tubes (PSTs). formation)
Department: Chemistry
Specimen: Plasma

Yellow, Nonsterile
Tests: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) studies
(paternity testing and tissue typing)
Additives: Acid citrate dextrose
Department: Blood bank
Specimen: Whole blood
Notes: Dextrose nourishes and preserves RBCs, and the
citrate is an anticoagulant

Tests: Viral loads
Additives: Polymer gel with EDTA
Department: Virology

Additive: K2EDTA and gel for plasma separation
Lab use: For use in molecular diagnostic test methods
(such as, but not limited to, polymerase chain reaction
[PCR] and/or branched DNA [bDNA] amplification
techniques.) Tube inversions ensure mixing of
anticoagulant (EDTA) with blood to prevent clotting.

Tests: Sedimentation rate (though often done with a
lavender tube instead)
Additives: Sodium citrate
Department: Hematology
Specimen: Whole blood