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Blood Collection

Tubes used in blood tests

Color / AdditiveMode of Action / Use
Red Top ADDITIVE None MODE OF ACTION Blood clots, and the serum is separated by centrifugation USES Chemistries, Immunology and Serology, Blood Bank (Crossmatch)
Gold Top ADDITIVE None MODE OF ACTION Serum separator tube (SST) contains a gel at the bottom to separate blood from serum on centrifugation USES Chemistries, Immunology and Serology
Light Green Top ADDITIVE Plasma Separating Tube (PST) with Lithium heparin MODE OF ACTION Anticoagulates with lithium heparin; Plasma is separated with PST gel at the bottom of the tube USES Chemistries
Purple Top ADDITIVE EDTA MODE OF ACTION Forms calcium salts to remove calcium USES Hematology (CBC) and Blood Bank (Crossmatch); requires full draw - invert 8 times to prevent clotting and platelet clumping
Light Blue Top ADDITIVE Sodium citrate Light Blue Top ADDITIVE Sodium citrate MODE OF ACTION Forms calcium salts to remove calcium USES Coagulation tests (protime and prothrombin time), full draw required
Green Top ADDITIVE Sodium heparin or lithium heparin MODE OF ACTION Inactivates thrombin and thromboplastin USES For lithium level, use sodium heparin For ammonia level, use sodium or lithium heparin Green Top ADDITIVE Sodium heparin or lithium heparin MODE OF ACTION Inactivates thrombin and thromboplastin USES For lithium level, use sodium heparin For ammonia level, use sodium or lithium heparin
Dark Blue Top ADDITIVE EDTA- MODE OF ACTION Tube is designed to contain no contaminating metals USES Trace element testing (zinc, copper, lead, mercury) and toxicology MODE OF ACTION Tube is designed to contain no contaminating metals USES Trace element testing (zinc, copper, lead, mercury) and toxicology
Light Gray Top ADDITIVE Sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate MODE OF ACTION Antiglycolytic agent preserves glucose up to 5 days USES Glucoses, requires full draw (may cause hemolysis if short draw)
Yellow Top ADDITIVE ACD (acid-citrate-dextrose) MODE OF ACTION Complement inactivation USES HLA tissue typing, paternity testing, DNA studies
Yellow - Black Top ADDITIVE Broth mixture MODE OF ACTION Preserves viability of microorganisms USES Microbiology - aerobes, anaerobes, fungi
Black Top ADDITIVE Sodium citrate (buffered) MODE OF ACTION Forms calcium salts to remove calcium USES Westergren Sedimentation Rate; requires full draw
Orange Top ADDITIVE Thrombin MODE OF ACTION Quickly clots blood USES STAT serum chemistries
Light Brown Top ADDITIVE Sodium heparin MODE OF ACTION Inactivates thrombin and thromboplastin; contains virtually no lead USES Serum lead determination
Pink Top ADDITIVE Potassium EDTA MODE OF ACTION Forms calcium salts USES Immunohematology
White Top ADDITIVE Potassium EDTA MODE OF ACTION Forms calcium salts USES Molecular/PCR and bDNA testing