Makomed's Weblog

Vampires Don’t Like Cold Blood

Posted on: July 23, 2008

I drew blood from a patient today-he must have been 99 years old and completely bedbound. He squirmed and moaned as I tried to extract a sample of it from his plastic-like skin. I felt bad since I had to retract the needle (I went in too deep) before having flashback. Thankful for at least having taken the blood on one stick, I stuck the blue tube in an icebox.

When I drove it to the laboratory, they said that the cold freezing temperature may have hemolyzed the PT/ INR sample which is the worst thing they can say. It would mean that the sample would be inconclusive and I would have to draw it again.

So the lesson to remember is: DO NOT FREEZE freshly drawn blood. Keep it room temperature. Only freeze it after it has been separated from the plasma and there is no danger of the platelets sticking to the plasma. You can have it just above room temp for 4 hours and it will still be fine.


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