Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, more commonly known as EDTA, is an additive placed in lavender-top Vacutainer tubes that can be used as a receptacle when drawing human whole blood. EDTA is an anticoagulant and will help to separate blood cells from the plasma.
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Things you need
- Blood-drawing needle
- Lavender-top Vacutainer
Draw the blood from your patient using a straight needle or butterfly, depending on the needs of the vein.
Attach a lavender-topped Vacutainer tube to the needle so that its vacuum pressure sucks the blood into the tube. A lavender-topped tube contains EDTA.
Place the tube in a centrifuge for 10 or so minutes. When it is done spinning, the blood will be separated into red blood cells (the bottom, red in colour) and plasma (the top, which is colourless). Some samples will need to be poured off and frozen, depending on the test required.
Tips and warnings
- Do not shake or mix the plasma/red cells after centrifuging
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