Updated Information on Plastic Red Top Tubes

The use of the plastic red top tube is not recommended for collection or transport of urine or fluid samples. These tubes contain a clot activator which may affect the testing performed on these tubes. For collection and transport of these fluids please use the following guidelines.

If you wish to transport a random urine sample through the pneumatic tube system, you must transfer the sample to a container with a secure lid to prevent leakage. In the near future, stores will stock a conical bottom yellow top plastic tube for this use. This tube can be differentiated from the ACD solution yellow top tube by this conical bottom. You will be notified when the new tube is available in stores. Until this tube is available, a substitute tube is available from Technical Services for chemistry and urinalysis samples. This tube contains no vacuum and is not sterile and requires the sample be poured from the collection container into this tube before labeling and transport. Please contact Specimen Control at 6-8620 for a small supply of these tubes. Samples for urine cultures must still be collected in a sterile leak proof container and delivered to Microbiology (MH04506). Urine samples sent with the Pathology transport personnel or delivered by patient care area personnel may still be collected and transported in the random urine container stores number MH04506. If you still have glass red top tubes in stock (MH03890, MH03891 or MH03943) they may be used.

Spinal Fluids:
Spinal Fluids for cell counts or other testing should be collected in the L-P sterile screw top tube available from stores (MH05078). The plastic red top tubes are not acceptable for any testing on CSF.

Other Fluids:
Any other fluid that is sent to the laboratory for cell count should be sent in a lavender top tube (MH09028-plastic or MH07532-glass). The plastic or glass red top tube is acceptable for chemistry testing on fluids.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes in the short term. You will be notified as soon as the new tubes become available in stores. Contact Kathy Eyres at 6-8620 with questions.