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Blue top lab tube....no heparin!

Nurses   (6,105 Views | 12 Replies)

psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

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Ok, this is turning into a pet peeve of mine. Has anyone else noticed that everyone says that the light blue top tubes (for coags) contains heparin? For example, when the lab calls and says the blue tube is clotted, someone immediately says "how can that be with heparin in the tube?" According to the tubes and the website of the company that makes the tubes, the blue tubes contain "buffered sodium citrate," and this citrate prevents clotting. While it is true, they a properly inverted tube should not clot, there is no heparin in the tube (at least until the blood is added ;)).

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tokmom has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

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I haven't noticed that here or at work. Interesting. Why would someone think there was heparin in a tube?

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

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I haven't noticed that here or at work. Interesting. Why would someone think there was heparin in a tube?

A lot of tubes have heparin in them to prevent clotting (green and grey are two example). Just not the light blue tube.

http://www.bd.com/vacutainer/pdfs/plus_plastic_tubes_wallchart_tubeguide_VS5229.pdf

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pedi.

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I have never heard anyone say that blue tops contain heparin. There are tubes (lithium heparin and sodium heparin come to mind) that do contain heparin.

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beckster_01 has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in MICU.

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I have heard people say they contain heparin, and now that you mention it I definitely remember seeing "Sodium Citrate" not "Heparin" on the label. It could just be a word-association. People know there is an anticoagulant, and it is drawn routinely for heparin drips, so they just jump to the conclusion that there must be heparin in the tube.

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tokmom has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

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Well, yeah those do, (again having troubling using quote feature for the OP) but like I said, never the blue. I should have said blue tube, not tubes in general.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pedi.

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I have heard people say they contain heparin, and now that you mention it I definitely remember seeing "Sodium Citrate" not "Heparin" on the label. It could just be a word-association. People know there is an anticoagulant, and it is drawn routinely for heparin drips, so they just jump to the conclusion that there must be heparin in the tube.

Wouldn't (or shouldn't) common sense tell these people that a tube used for heparin levels cannot contain heparin because it would be impossible to get an accurate level if you're adding heparin to the sample from the tube?

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Esme12 has 40 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

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I eard this too....I have heard this too. I correct people continously:doh:......Someday it will take hold;)

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1 Follower; 1 Article; 4,383 Posts; 38,282 Profile Views

I always add a bit of heparin to the blue tops when I use them, that way they won't clot. It's so much easier to do that than have to get another sample to send to the lab. It's weird though, I've been having a run of critical lab values lately...

:clown:

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AnonRNC specializes in NICU.

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I always add a bit of heparin to the blue tops when I use them, that way they won't clot. It's so much easier to do that than have to get another sample to send to the lab. It's weird though, I've been having a run of critical lab values lately...

:clown:

Bad, Wooh, bad!

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Creamsoda is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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I almost thought you were serious for a second....for some people, I wouldnt put it past em

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ORnurseCT has 5 years experience as a DNP, APRN, NP and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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Wooh LOL. I had to stop telling people they didn't need to invert SST or red tops, nobody believes me. And pink and lavender tops are the same, EDTA. It's on the label you don't have to take my word for it...

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