Types of Blood Collection Tubes and Their uses


Evacuated Tubes that are used for blood collection for different laboratory tests are made up of tubes in variable sizes, and color-coded tops to indicate tube contents. The majority of blood collection tubes contain an ingredient that either speeds up the blood’s clotting (clot activator) or stops blood from becoming clot-free (anticoagulant). The following list lists the most frequently utilized blood collection tubes, along with their additives, and their uses in lab:

1. Red

Red bottles are more frequent – it’s utilized for biochemistry tests that require serum that could be negatively affected with the separation gel utilized within the yellow bottle.

  • Additive: No or contain silica particles that serve as clot activators.
  • What is the effect of this additive? Clot activator increases blood clotting by using crystals of silica or glass.
  • Laboratory Utilization: Testing of the serum (glucose, cholesterol, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, potassium, amylase, alkaline, phosphatase BUN, liver enzymes, CK) Blood bank, serology (RH Typing, Antibody screening, the red Cell phototyping, DAT RPR, monospot, the rheumatoid factor, ANA).

2. Yellow

  • Additive: anticoagulant SPS (Sodium Polyanetholsulfonate) & ACD (acid citrate dextrose)
  • What does the additive do? prevent blood from clotting and also stabilizes the growth of bacterial.
  • Laboratory Utilization: Blood and bodily fluids (HLA DNA, DNA, paternity), Tubes that contain SPS – the culture of bodily fluids and blood (HLA DNA, DNA and Paternity). The SPS assists in the healing of microorganisms through slowing down or slowing down the action of phagocytes, complement, and some antibiotics. Tubes with ACD can be used to be used for cell research, HLA typing, paternity testing, and paternity tests.

3. Light Blue


This blue container is utilized for tests of haematology involving the clotting system. These tests requires whole blood that has been activated to be analysed.

  • Additive: Sodium Citrate
  • What does this ingredient do? create a binding and removes calcium from blood to stop it from bleeding
  • Laboratory uses: coagulation (clotting process-P.T). It is also known as PT (Prothrombin Time – evaluates the extrinsic mechanism of the Cascade of Coagulation and monitors Coumadin therapy). APTT/PTT (Activated Partially Thromboplastin Time – assesses the system that drives the coagulation cascade, and also evaluates the effectiveness of heparin therapy), FDP (Fibrinogen Degradation Products), TT (Thrombin time), Factor assays.

4. Green


This bottle, which is not widely used, is designed for biochemistry tests that require heparinised plasma or complete blood to be analysed.

  • Additive: Heparin (Sodium/Lithium/Ammonium)
  • What is the function of this additive? inhibit thrombin formation to stop bleeding
  • Lab uses: Chem Tests (Plasma determinations in the field of chemistry) Ammonia and STAT electrolytes, carboxyhemoglobin and STAT and chromosome screening, aldosterone, renin.

5. Lavender


They are usually used for tests of haematology where whole blood is needed to be analysed.

  • Additive: EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid)
  • What is the function of this additive? remove calcium, thereby preventing blood clotting
  • Lab uses: Testing for Hematology (ESR, CBC w/diff., HgBA1c), blood film to detect abnormal cells or malaria parasites red cell folate, reticulocytes Test for Monospot for EBV Parathyroid hormone (PTH).

6. Grey

  • Additional: Potassium oxalate and Sodium fluoride
  • What is the purpose of this additive? The sodium fluoride works as an antiglycolytic agent , which helps ensure that there is no further glucose breakdown takes place within the sample after it has been taken. Potassium Oxalate eliminates calcium, and also acts in the role of an anticoagulant.
  • Laboratory use: Chemical testing, specifically glucose(sugar) as well as lactate, Glucose tolerance test (GTT).

7. Royal Blue

  • Additive: The Sodium Heparin is also Sodium EDTA
  • What additive does? inhibit Thrombin formation to stop
  • Laboratory uses: the trace elements of Chemistry (such such as Zinc, Copper, Lead and Mercury) as well as toxicology and nutrition chemistry testing

8. Black

  • Additive: Sodium Citrate
  • What additive does? form calcium salts that remove calcium
  • The laboratory Uses: ESR for pediatric ESR

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