Vacuum Blood Collection Tube/ Vaccutainers
Vaccutainer tubes are blood collecting tubes which are evacuated to create a vacuum. The vacuumed tube ensures that a predetermined quantity of blood is drawn. Vaccum Blood Collection Tubes or Vaccutainers were first invented in 1949 by Joseph Kleiner and Becton Dickinson (BD).
Vaccutainers can come with different additives based on what test the blood is drawn for. Vaccum Blood Collection Tubes and tests can be made of up of either glass or plastic and come with colour coded caps. The blood tubes colour and tests coding is indicative of the additive that is present in the tube. The Vacuum Blood Collection tubes may contain clot activators and gel for serum separation, rapid clot activators like thrombin, sodium heparin or lithium heparin, EDTA, Sodium Fluoride and Oxalate, Sodium Citrate etc. The Vaccutainer Blood Collection tubes may not contain any additive. These blood test tubes can expire overtime as the vacuum is lost and the tube wouldn’t be able to collect blood efficiently.
Vacuum Blood Collection Tubes Colour Codes
The different types of blood collection tubes are:
Gold or Tiger Red/Black top – contains clot activator and serum separation gel
Red Top plastic – contains Clot Activator but no serum separation gel
Orange or Grey/Yellow tiger top – contains Thrombin
Green – contains Sodium Heparin or Lithium heparin
Purple or Lavender – contains strong anticoagulant K2EDTA
Grey – contains Sodium Fluoride and Oxalate
Light Blue – contains Sodium Citrate
Dark Blue – contains EDTA
Black - contains used for Erythrocyte Sedimentation rate
Light Yellow – these yellow vaccutainers or sodium fluoride tubes contain Sodium Polyanethol Sulfonate (SPS)
Tan glass or plastic – these sodium heparin tubes contain Sodium Heparin in glass tube or K2EDTA in plastic tube.
Red glass – Red vaccutainer contains No additive
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