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Regulations of the blood sample
Preparing for your blood test
Procedure for taking blood
Side effects of the blood test
Amount of blood collected
Stabilizing the sample
Depending on the tests prescribed and the distance the sample has to travel to get to the laboratory, the blood will need to be stabilized. Tubes containing anticoagulated blood (lavender or blue cap) are usually refrigerated until they are processed in the lab. Tubes of serum (yellow or red cap) must be centrifuged right away, to separate the serum before refrigeration. Best practices in sample stabilization stipulate that the temperature in the container used to transport the tubes be monitored, to protect the samples from excessive heat or cold.
A common practice at many sampling points is to refrigerate the samples BEFORE transport to a central laboratory, where the serum is then separated from the coagulated cells. This approach can lead to interference in certain tests, such as potassium, a vital electrolyte. Artefactually high potassium levels can raise concern and will often require that a new sample be taken. At Biron, our health care professionals make sure all conditions to stabilize your sample are satisfied before and during transport to our central laboratory.