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Listed in Order of Draw for Blood Collection Tubes and Syringe Collections.


Blood Culture Bottles are ALWAYS drawn prior to other labs to reduce contamination. .

Royal Blue No additive (serum); special glass and stopper material 7.0 mL Most drug levels, toxicology screens, and trace elements
Red No additive 7.0 mL Cryoglobulins and CH50
Light Blue 3.2% Sodium Citrate 4.5 mL PT, PTT, TCT, CMV buffy coat, Factor Activity
Tube MUST be filled 100% - No exceptions!
Gold Top (Serum Separator, "SST") Gold Top (SST) Contains separating gel and clot activator 6.0 mL Most chemistry, endocrine and serology tests, including Hepatitis and HIV
Light Blue -
Yellow Label on Tube
FDP (Light Blue Top with Yellow Label) Thrombin 2.0 mL For FDP test ONLY; Obtain tube from Core Lab Coag; Allow to Clot
Green Sodium heparin(100 USP Units) 5.0 mL Ammonia, Lactate, HLA Typing
Tan Tan Top


5.0 mL Lead levels
Yellow Yellow Top ACD Solution A consists of trisodium citrate, citric acid and dextrose 8.5 mL DNA Studies, HIV Cultures
Pink Pink Top (K2)EDTA Draws 6 mL - Minimum 4 mL Blood type & Screen, Compatibility Study, Direct Coombs
HIV Viral Load
Pearl Top (Plasma Preparation, "PPT") Pearl Top Separating gel and (K2)EDTA 4.0 mL Adenovirus PCR
Toxoplasma PCR
Lavender ("Purple") Lavender (Purple) Top (K2)EDTA 3.0 mL CBC/Diff/Retic/Sed Rate, FK506, Cyclosporin, Platelet Ab, Coombs, Flow Cytometry

 NOTE:  All tubes sterile.

Standard order of draw: BLOOD CULTURES, royal blue, red, light blue, SST (Gold), green, tan, yellow, pink, pearl, lavender. If a coag tube (light blue) is the only tube or the first tube to be drawn, a 5 mL discard tube must be drawn first.

Blood Culture Options (Specify Culture Type when Ordering)


Culture Type Patient Population Test ID Test # BottleType/Comments  
Culture, Blood, Routine

All Patients not Meeting Criteria Below

NOTE:  This culture will recover
HACEK organisms with no
change in collection
or incubation  conditions.
If Brucella or Francisella are
in the differential, extended
incubation may be required. 
Please contact the
Microbiology Lab (966-4056).
BROU 9500

Bactec Plus Aerobic F

BD BACTEC Plus Aerobic/F 
(Grey Cap/Blue Ring)
(Optimal Volume 8-10 mL)
Lawson# 052346(UOM box of 50 bottles) 

Bactec Lytic Anaerobic F

BD BACTEC Anaerobic Lytic/10
(Purple Cap/Maroon Ring)
(Optimal Volume 8-10  mL)
Lawson# 052347
(UOM box of 50 bottles)
Culture, Blood, AFB HIV+  patients with CD4 Count <100; 
Suspected MAC infections
AFBB 9684

 Bactec Myco FBactec Myco F

BD BACTEC Myco/F Lytic
(White Cap/Red Ring)
Available from Phlebotomy Lab
(Optimal Volume 1-5 mL)
Culture, Blood, Pediatric Patients Weighing <40 kg BPED 9548 Bactec Plus Aerobic F


BD BACTEC Plus aerobic/F
(Grey Cap/Blue Ring)
(Optimal Bolume 8-10 mL)
For Patients <20 Kg, 1-4 mL is acceptable
For Patients 20-40 Kg, 4-8 mL in one bottle.
For Patients >40 Kg (See Routine above)
Blood Culture Mould
Suspected infections due to
dimorphic  (endemic) fungi,
Fusarium sp., Trichosporon sp.,
Malassezia furfur (Specify at Collection).
BPATH 9507

Isolator Tube

Isolator Yellow Top
(10 mL Volume)
Available from Plebotomy
Bactec Plus Aerobic F
BD BACTEC Plus Aerobic/F 
(Grey Cap/Blue Ring)
(Optimal Volume 8-10 mL)
Lawson# 052346
(UOM box of 50 bottles)
Bactec Myco F
BD BACTEC Myco/F Lytic
(White Cap/Red Ring)
Available from Phlebotomy Lab
(Optimal Volume 1-5 mL)

Reviewed by Christopher Parker on November 19, 2021

Note: Reference ranges provided on this web site are for guidance only, and may not reflect the most recent changes. Refer to laboratory reports for current reference data.

UNC Hospitals
McLendon Clinical Laboratories
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514