Blood Collection Tubes

Descriptions Of All Blood Collection Tubes (Red, Gold, Green, Lavender, White, Blue & Gray)

Listed below are the blood tube types for the collection available in the laboratory. The description of the red tube top, the gold tube top, the green tube top, the lavender tube top, the white tube top, the blue top tube, and the gray tube top can be found underneath.

Vacutainer tubes are used for blood collection, with a few exceptions. To ensure the accuracy of results, it is vital that the tubes containing Anticoagulants be filled to capacity.

An improperly filled anticoagulated tube will result in an abnormal anticoagulant/blood ratio and can affect results.

The vacutainer tube should be allowed to fill completely before being removed from the collection device.

Red Tube Top

Description of the Red Tube Top: Red top tubes contain no anticoagulant and are used for tests requiring serum analysis.

Red tube top
Blood collection tubes with red top

Red tubes are available in 10ml, 5ml, and 3 ml sizes and do not have a silicone barrier.

Red tube tops are the only ones used to collect samples for blood bank procedures and all therapeutic drug levels.

Gold Tube Top

Description of the Gold Tube Top: The gold top tube (Gold Top Hemoguard SSTT) comes in 6.0 mL. 

Gold Tube Top
Blood collection tubes with a gold top

It contains a clot enhancer and silicone, forming a seal between the cells and serum when centrifuging.

Green Tube Top

Description of the Green Tube Top: The inside wall of the green tube top is coated with either lithium or sodium heparin as the anticoagulant.

These are required for collecting certain tests and may be used for many tests where whole blood or plasma is required.

The green tube top can not be used for amylase, lipase, troponin, AST, LIVP, CMP, or BHCG. Only tubes with lithium heparin as the anti-coagulant are acceptable for chemistry testing.

Lavender Tube Top

Description of the Lavender Tube Top: The lavender top tube contains EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetate) as the anticoagulant used for most hematological procedures. This tube is available in 3 mL size.

White Tube Top

Description of the White Tube Top: The white top tube type contains EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetate) K2 and is used for the collection of HIV Viral Load specimens. 

The white tube top may also be used for the collection of specimens for Hepatitis C PCR testing (both Qualitative and Quantitative) and HIV-1 Genotyping and is available in a 5 mL size.

Blue Tube Top

Description of the Blue Tube Top: The Blue Top Tube contains 3.2% of Buffered Sodium Citrate as the anticoagulant. 

Blue Tube Top
Blood collection tubes with a blue top

Two tube sizes are available 3.0 & 2.0ml tubes. The blue tube top is used for prothrombin time and other coagulation studies.

Because of the ratio of blood to anticoagulant required for accuracy, tubes must be 90% full. Short draws will only be used with physician permission. Clotted, moderate and marked hemolysis will warrant recollection.

Gray Tube Top

Description of the Gray Tube Top: The Gray Top Tube contains Sodium Fluoride Potassium Oxalate.  It is available in a 2 mL draw tube.

It is used for lactic acid (must be collected on ice and transported immediately to the lab) and glucose testing.

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