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Stopper Colors

A review of blood collection tube stopper colors, additives, and usage.

QuestionAnswer
Coagulation studies: PT, PTT, fibrinogen. What stopper color? Light Blue
Serum tests: most blood chemistries, serology tests, immunohematology ("blood bank testing"), AIDS antibody, viral studies. What stopper color? Red
Hematology studies: CBC, WBC count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count, reticulocyte count, differential. What stopper color? Lavender
STAT blood chemistries utilizing plasma. What stopper color? Green
Glucose, blood alcohol (ethanol) levels, lactic acid. What stopper color? Gray
Westergren sedimentation rate ("SED rate") determination. What stopper color? Black
Trace metal analysis for: Antimony, Arsenic, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc. Also, nutrients and toxicology studies. What stopper color? Royal Blue
Lead levels. What stopper color? Brown
Immunohematology ("Blood bank testing") using gel system. What stopper color? Pink
All tests using serum except blood bank. What stopper color? "Tiger Top"/Red and Black Mottled OR Gold
Light Blue additive? Sodium citrate (anticoagulant)
Red additive? Glass tube has no additive; plastic tube has a clot activator.
"Tiger Top"/Red and Black Mottled OR Gold additive? Silicone ("gel system")
Lavender additive? EDTA (anticoagulant)
Green additive? Sodium heparin, lithium heparin, or ammonium heparin (anticoagulants)
Gray additive? Potassium oxalate and sodium fluoride, or lithium iodacetate and heparin
Black additive? Buffered sodium citrate
Royal Blue additive? Purple label - EDTA (anticoagulant); Green label - heparin (anticoagulant); Red label - no additive
Brown additive? Sodium heparin or EDTA (anticoagulants)
Pink additive? K3 EDTA
Which tubes must be completely filled with blood? Light Blue and Black tubes.
When using a butterfly needle to collect a coagulation tube first, what special procedure must you follow? Why? You must draw some blood into a "discard" tube first. If you do not, air from the tubing will cause the coagulation tube to fill incompletely.
Created by: cookiedemocracy