In general, the following instructions will be appropriate for most tests. However, sample collection procedures may vary depending on the type of testing requested and may affect the accuracy of the results reported. For that reason, in addition to the guidelnes below, please follow the guidelines for specific tests and procedures listed in our Services and Fees section, as well as any sample collection procedures provided on VDL submission forms.
Blood should be allowed to clot at room temperature before refrigerating or centrifuging.
Protect blood samples from direct sunlight, extreme heat, and freezing to prevent hemolysis and degradation of serum. Refrigerate when clotting is complete if centrifugation will be done hours later.
Provide at least 0.5 ml of serum/test requested. Make sure there are no erythrocytes in the serum because they interfere with certain tests.
Use permanent ink. Water soluble inks smear when moisture condenses on cool tubes.
Serum separator tubes may be inappropriate for some tests.
Note that serum separator tubes require centrifugation for a minimum of 10 minutes at 2,000 rpm.
Without centrifuging, slightly more serum may be required to obtain serum free of red blood cells.
Label, organize, and ship. See container recommendations and sample identification and shipping.