July 18, 2022
Are you a phlebotomist, or interested in learning more about phlebotomy? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Getlabs Phlebotomy Tips is a series focused on sharing knowledge, advice, and best practices for phlebotomists and mobile phlebotomists.
Here’s a quick Jeopardy challenge: The second most common reason laboratories reject blood samples.
If you responded, “What are clotted samples,” then you are correct!
Red blood cells are fragile, which means they won’t tolerate a lot of turbulence in the tube. That’s why learning to properly mix a blood sample is a surefire way to prevent a laboratory rejecting your blood sample for clotting.
Let’s review why mixing a blood sample properly is so underestimated and how you can teach proper mixing.
There are several different styles and approaches to mixing tubes. Here are a few.
It’s not difficult to mix a tube, however, it’s important that whenever we’re teaching someone to mix tubes that we’re methodical about teaching the proper method. By teaching the proper technique, fewer samples will reach the lab and be rejected for something easily avoidable.
For this demonstration, you’ll need to find a large prop to demonstrate with. If you have a large inflated tube, that’s perfect. Otherwise, any long cylinder object with a liquid and air pocket you have lying around will do, like a full two-liter soda bottle.
What you want to demonstrate is that when a tube of blood is filled, there is headspace at the top with an air bubble. Because tubes have additives coated with to the side, the air bubble will travel the length of the tube and do all the mixing.
When the tube is inverted and we give the air bubble time to rise, that air bubble will create friction along the tube and erode the additives. This will assist you in mixing the sample.
Here are three easy steps to properly mixing the tube:
That’s it! Following this process will significantly lower your sample rejection rate due to clotted samples.
The most important takeaway to remember is: Let the air bubble do the mixing.
Lastly, shaking is breaking.
Thanks for stopping by! We look forward to sharing more phlebotomy tips and best practices with you in the future.
If you’re considering a career as a phlebotomist or curious to learn more, consider working for a mobile phlebotomy service like Getlabs. We hire talented, passionate people from diverse backgrounds, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes our company stronger as a whole.
If you share our values and our enthusiasm for helping our patients have the best experience, we have a home for you at Getlabs.
Check out our careers page and find out if we’re hiring in your area!
This page is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the provision of medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice regarding any of the tests and conditions referenced above are advised to consult with a licensed clinician. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider regarding a medical condition and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information on this page. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.
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