Hints & Tips

Hints & Tips

  1. Please ensure patient details and a succinct clinical history is included on the submission
  2. Ensure antibiotic treatment is detailed on microbiology
  3. Submitting a fresh blood smear helps us give you the best haematology
  4. Check that the correct tube is used for the test (see below and also refer to our price guide)
  5. Check the sample volume required for a specific test and if in doubt please phone
  6. For all anti-coagulated tubes mix gently but thoroughly to prevent clotting.
  7. Use a small wooden stick to check for clots in EDTA samples by gently stirring and scooping the
  8. If a plain/gel sample is to be centrifuged before being submitted check that the sample has clotted before centrifugation to avoid a ‘jelly’

Finn Blood Tube Identification


Due to Health and Safety regulations, we do not except any samples in syringes (particularly containing needles/sharp objects). Please ensure all samples are decanted into the recommended sample tubes/containers before sending to the laboratory.


1.3ml (Pink Cap) - For Haematology

EDTA is best for preservation of cell morphology. EDTA is the sample tube of choice for cytology (with a plain tube if culture is required). Please fill to the fill line.


1.3ml (white top) - Biochemistry

Allow the sample to clot, then centrifuge and separate serum from the clot and decant into a new plain tube prior to sending. RED CELLS are NOT needed for the vast majority of biochemical tests and presence may lead to haemolysis.


1.3ml - (brown top)

Allow the sample to clot, then centrifuge. The gel sits between the cells and serum protecting the serum from any haemolysis. The gel may interfere through possible absorption with the concentration of certain hormones. Some therapeutic drug concentrations are reduced when a sample is stored in a gel tube for greater than 2 hours.


1.3ml (green top) - Coagulation Testing

It is essential that this tube is correctly filled as the anticoagulant to blood ratio is crucial. The sample may be centrifuged and separated citrated plasma placed in a plain tube. This must then be clearly stated on the form and tube. May also be used for D-Dimer. Separated and frozen citrated plasma must be used for vWF testing.


1.3ml (orange top) - Haematology

Heparin is an anticoagulant which prevents clotting. RED CELLS are NOT needed for the vast majority of biochemical tests and presence may lead to haemolysis. Whole heparin is the preferred sample for short samples, e.g. exotics and fractious cats, as it can be used for cell counts with a fresh film. Heparin is not as good as EDTA for preservation of cell morphology