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Venous Blood Gas Sample Collection

For venous blood gas (VBG) testing, one institute collects venous blood either in a 10cc syringe or lithium heparin tube, then transfers some into a 1cc heparinized syringe to run the test. Is this okay? Respondents say the sample should be drawn directly into a heparinized syringe and kept anaerobic. Some do use lithium heparin tubes in certain cases, but this is not ideal. One respondent also recommends that the original poster run the VBG from the 10cc syringe before expelling for other testing in order to minimize air exposure to the sample for the VBG.


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AACC is a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to clinical laboratory science and its application to healthcare. Our leadership in education, advocacy and collaboration helps lab professionals adapt to change and do what they do best: provide vital insight and guidance so patients get the care they need.