Blood Collection Tube Top Colors

Click on the stopper to get additional information


Light Blue top
Red top tube - Serology and Immunohematology
Red top tube - Chemistry
Light Green top or Green top
Lavender top
Pink top tube (Blood Bank EDTA)
Gray top
Yellow top tube (ACD solution A) or (ACD solution B)
Royal Blue top; serum, no additive or sodium heparin
  White top

Order of the Draw

To prevent contamination of tubes with additives from other tubes it is important to draw the tubes in a SPECIFIC order called "the order of the draw". For example, if the additive in the purple stopper tube contaminates the green stopper tube this would cause a falseley decreased calcium and increased potassium. Please, JUST DO IT. The sequence of collection of evacuated tubes in a multi-draw should be in this order:

  1. Sterile/Blood cultures (yellow top or bottles)

  2. Royal Blue - red label for trace metal analysis

  3. Light Blue coagulation tube -NOTE: If coag tests only are ordered AND you are using a butterfly, draw a discard tube to collect the air in the tubing. Failure to do so will result in a short draw which will be rejected by the lab.

  4. Red - Non-Additive

  5. Red Gel separator tube (speckled or “tiger” top)

  6. Green (heparin)

  7. Green/Gray mottled Plasma Separator Tube (PST) with heparin

  8. Lavender/purple top and/or pink (EDTA)

  9. Gray top (Oxalate/fluoride tube)

http://www.pathology.med.umich.edu/bloodbank/faqs.html - has the following picture. Visit their website as it has some other nice pictures and explanations.