Avoiding Hemolysis:
A Checklist of Best Practices

hemolysis pictureLast month, we presented an article addressing hemolysis and how it can impact your samples.  This month, we present a checklist of best practices to help you avoid hemolysis.

Avoiding hemolysis in serum specimens
Conduct a ‘clean’ phlebotomy by:
– Avoiding bruised areas
– Drying the skin after cleanser use
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What is Hemolysis and
Why is it Important?

red blood cellHemolysis is defined as the alteration, dissolution or destruction of red blood cell membranes in such a manner that hemoglobin is freed into the medium in which the cells are suspended.  Hemolysis can be caused by antibodies, toxins, chemicals or physical stress from dilution, extremes of pressure, or shear forces or temperature during phlebotomy or preparation of serum.  Even time can cause hemolysis, through the exhaustion of available glucose, which is necessary to maintain the fluidity and stability of the cell membranes. Continue reading