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Blood Collection Supplies

Blood Collection Supplies

When building successful protocols around blood collection, high quality blood collection supplies are the foundation of the process. Blood specimen types must be handled with care, often requiring complex and fast-paced protocols to preserve the quality of the sample.

This means having methods in place for the collection method, treatment at the time of collection, and post-treatment processing. Even beyond sample handling, it’s critical to understand how to work with patients, prioritizing their comfort and safety. All of this can be done by supplying your laboratory or medical team with the proper equipment and training.

Avantor® provides an extensive list of high-quality, sterile, and user-friendly products to maximize safety and efficiency for blood collection.

Three standard methods of blood collection

Blood collection equipment has innovated medical research and diagnostics to make fluid sampling fast, accurate, and easy to process. There are always some risks with sample quality due to transportation and shelf life, however the many options for sterile tools and rapid testing methods minimize contamination substantially.

There are three common methods of blood collection, all requiring their respective supplies (needles, collection vials, syringes, etc.). To learn more about the different supply options for blood collection, visit the links listed in our featured products above.

To better understand the practical applications of blood collection equipment, we can examine the three most widely used methods of blood collection.

Arterial sampling

This is the most common sampling methodology performed within the hospital environment. Arterial sampling can be used in the identification of metabolic, respiratory, and mixed acid-base disorders, where CO2 levels require monitoring and analysis.

Venipuncture sampling

Venipuncture is also a common blood collection method used to medically examine adult patients. Blood is collected via a superficial vein in the upper limb, which reduces discomfort for the patient during sample collection.

Finger-stick sampling

This rapid sample testing requires a patient to prick their skin for a small blood sample, usually at the end of a finger. Not only is this an incredibly fast testing method, but it requires very little preparation, making this a preferred method for small children, or any patients with discomfort and anxiety around blood work.

8 types of blood collection tools

Not all goals for blood analysis are the same – requiring the use of unique and effective protocols. Collection bottles for blood analysis come in various colors, indicating the contents of the tube. This coding system makes it easier for laboratories to stay organized when handling a number of different biological tests.

Each vial contains an additive that accelerates clotting or prevents clotting. Depending on your laboratory’s goals for analysis, each color-coded bottle will facilitate different reactions to help better assess a sample for research or medical purposes.

Here is a list of the eight most common color-coded blood collection vials:

  • Red

    This less common collection bottle is used in biochemistry testing that requires a specialized serum. It is possible for this serum to be adversely affected by separating gels used in other common blood collection bottles. The goal of using this additive is to promote blood clotting via silica particles with clot activating properties.

    Some applications for red collection bottles include testing for glucose, cholesterol, liver enzymes, and alkaline phosphatase. They are commonly used for antibody screening, red cell phototyping, DAT, RPR, monospot, and rheumatoid factor testing.
  • Yellow

    Formulated with the additive anticoagulant sodium polyanetholesulfonate (SPS) and acid citrate dextrose (ACD), yellow collection bottles are designed to prevent blood from clotting while stabilizing bacterial growth in a sample. This is useful when analyzing blood or bodily fluid samples for screenings such as HLA, DNA, and paternity tests.

    The SPS aids in the recovery of microorganisms by slowing down/stopping the actions of complement, phagocytes, and some antibiotics. ACD is useful for cellular studies and identification of genetic material.
  • Green

    Green collection bottles are used in biochemistry applications that require heparinized plasma or whole blood for analysis. This is made possible with the use of heparin additives such as sodium, lithium, or ammonium.

    The additive acts as an inhibitor for thrombin formation, preventing clotting for use in further analysis. Some methods include plasma determinations, chromosome screening, and insulin testing.
  • Light blue

    Light blue collection bottles are used for hematology tests involving the clotting system, requiring samples that are inactivated whole blood for proper analysis.

    This is performed with the additive sodium citrate, which binds and removes calcium to prevent the blood from clotting.

    There are several applications that require studying the coagulation (clotting process):
    • Prothrombin time (PT)
    • Activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT/PTT)
    • Fibrinogen degradation products (FDP)
    • Thrombin time (TT)
    • Factor assays
  • Purple

    Purple collection bottles also require whole blood samples for analysis. The sample is treated with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), which removes calcium preventing clotting of the blood sample.

    This test vial is known for its use analyzing blood film for abnormal cells such as malaria parasites, red cell folate, and reticulocytes.
  • Grey

    Grey bottles are formulated with potassium oxalate and sodium fluoride and are primarily used for chemistry testing such as glucose and lactate testing (specifically glucose tolerance test).

    Sodium fluoride acts as an antiglycolytic agent, ensuring that no further glucose breaks down in the sample. Potassium oxalate then removes calcium, operating as an anticoagulant to stabilize the sample.
  • Royal blue

    These collection vials are used for the testing of trace elements in a blood sample, such as zinc, copper, lead, and mercury. Royal blue collection bottles are a fundamental tool for nutritional chemistry testing.

    They are developed with two additives; sodium heparin and sodium EDTA, to inhibit the formation of thrombin in the collected sample.
  • Black

    Black collection bottles are designed for pediatric ESR testing. Sodium citrate interacts with the sample to form calcium salts which remove calcium from the sample material.

    This test application is an important tool for diagnostic care for children that may have irregular inflammation in the body, leading to the diagnosis of other critical conditions.


Find everything you need for blood collection at Avantor®

Blood collection is an integral subset of biochemistry and medical research to help us not only understand diseases but also develop lifesaving medicines. Avantor® supports medical research and clinical work by offering an extensive range of blood collection equipment for many applications.

It can be a challenge to keep patients calm and comfortable when extracting a sample. By utilizing the current products available, you can be sure that your team will be well equipped to handle samples, all while making sure patients are safe and samples are collected quickly and painlessly.