Things to Know for Selection of the Right Type of Blood Collection Tubes

By | November 27, 2018

If you are planning for a project by collecting human blood samples or run a pathology lab for microbiology studies, the use of blood collection tubes is inevitable. Your study may be related to blood cells or exploring the genetic materials or biomarkers. For any scientists or diagnosing professionals, the entire process of extract human blood can be an intimidating affair.

While you collect blood samples at home, a clinic, hospital, or a pathology lab, one needs to have a clear idea of what sort of blood collection tubes to be used for each purpose. The primary thing to check is the standard global protocol, say, for example, there many tests like ELISA which specifies the sample types you can use and certain types you cannot.

Use blood collection tubes

The first thing to when you plan for blood collection is whether you are trying to get serum or there is need to preserve blood from clotting. The serum is the byproduct of the blood getting clotted whereas things like plasma out of blood are dense cells which spun to the bottom without clotting. These tubes are used to collect blood to be preserved without clotting is known as anticoagulant tubes. Let’s discuss these types of tubes in detail.

Anticoagulant blood collection tubes

This is the type of tubes to consider if your need is to collect the blood cells or plasma, which is a cell-free liquid that contains coagulation factors.

The purple tube or EDTA

EDTA blood collection tubes prevent blood clotting through chelating calcium, which is a needed for coagulation. EDTA is the basic type of hematology tube, which is required to identify and count blood cells, do blood typing, etc. The plasma from EDTA blood tubes can be used to measure the proteins, and the genetic materials can be stored easily from the EDTA buffy coats, offering an interface between the plasma and red cells post centrifugation.

Light Blue tube or sodium citrate tube

It is mostly used for platelet function test and coagulation tests. Similar to EDTA, citrate tube also functions by removing calcium from the sample. However, unlike the EDTA tubes, sodium citrate tubes are reversible. With this feature, calcium can be easily added back to study about coagulation also under controlled circumstances If the need is only for citrate, then one should collect the discard tube for this. There are various concentrations of citrate for different companies.

Light Blue CTAD tube

CTAD means 1) Citrate, 2) Theophylline, 3) Adenosine and 4) Dipyridamole. There are not so common in terms of cytology studies but used in the case to prevent any ex vivo activation in platelets. Serving this purpose, it is useful mostly in some sensitive coagulation or platelet function studies. CTAD is also light-sensitive so it essential to keep the CTAD samples at dark.

The other major types of blood collection tubes also include the Lithium-Sodium Heparin – green, Sodium Fluoride in varying colors based on brand, Acid Citrate dextrose in yellow, Sodium Polyanethol Sulfonate in yellow, etc. There are more blood collection tubes also out there for varying purposes.

Author Bio: Anthony Karen is a health expert who has been running many health seminars and public discussions. She also manages her blog and reviews the health-related details provided by authentic sources