Blood Draw Yields Fatty Deposit??

  1. Well only been a Nurse for 5 Months! Question is, I was drawing blood from a Midline a few weeks ago and when I looked in the syringe I had to waste and the syringe with my sample in it (both 10cc syringes) I noticed some off white substance floating in both syringes! Now I flushed the midline with 10 cc NS per our protocol and at first thought I had screwed up! I asked some of the more experienced nurses and was informed that it was actually fat from the person! Has anyone had this happen to them and is it possible to have that much fat floating around in your blood if it is fat? I mean it was close to 1 cc combine in this off white material floating in the syringes!

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    About stephanfloess

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 3; Likes: 1


  3. by   TazziRN
  4. by   stephanfloess
    Hmm guess that is it! Something I didn't learn in nursing school, Googled it and that is what it appears to be! Just never thought you could have so much extra lipids in you that it just floats with your blood! Any more info would be appreciated! Will continue to research it!

  5. by   TiffyRN
    I've had it happen to me before, it's bizarre. I initially thought it was somehow the TPN but I've also seen it from patients who don't have TPN/Lipids running. I've seen it from specimens drawn from a direct stick from a vein as well as line draws.
  6. by   KrysyRN
    I have seen this before, but it was after I spun the blood. Clumps were in the serum, and the serum was very cloudy. When the cholesterol levels were checked on these patients, they were sky high.
  7. by   April, RN
    wow, so how do these patients not end up with fat embolisms? or do they?
  8. by   GilaRRT
    These are the patients that are at high risk for have massive MI's and CVA's.
  9. by   MadisonsMomRN
    I have seen this too. It freaked me out. It seems these people have really bad diets high in saturated fats. Yuck!
  10. by   barbyann
    I thought those were platelets clumping?
  11. by   ERRNTraveler
    I've seen this quite a bit- it's fat. Usually happens with people who are morbidly obese, have high-fat diets, or super high cholesterol. And yes, they are at great risk for having and MI or CVA due to fat embolus. What's really sad, is several months ago, I drew blood from an extremely overweight 7 year-old, and he had a LOT of fat floating in his blood! You might mention something to the physician about it, so he/she can order lipid studies on this patient & get them started on a statin.
  12. by   liquidblue
    While in nursing school, I'm working as a phlebotomist. It is a fairly often occurrence for folks to come in and have blood/serum samples just as the original poster described. When spun, the serum is milky (lipemic) and once in awhile, the analyzer can't even get a reading on the cholesterol levels - they are that high! Scary, isn't it.
  13. by   Balder_LPN
    I have seen this happen with a friend of mine who went to the hosp with BS>1300 and DKA. I couldnt believe what it looked like.
  14. by   crissrn27
    I have a cousin that has some sort of liver disease that makes here cholesterol level reallllly high.......can't remember for the life of me what it is. At times, her level was 2000+. Never seen it for myself, but her mom says her blood doesn't even look like blood, it has so much fat in it. It looks milky yellow, with a pink tinge to it. Now I find that hard to believe, but with all the problems this girl has had most of her life from this disease, I wouldn't be surprised.