06/14/2021: Lab Alert: Sodium Citrate Blood Specimen Collection Tubes in Short Supply

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Clinical Laboratory Professionals

Level: Laboratory Alert

The US is experiencing significant interruptions in the supply of sodium citrate blood specimen collection (light blue top) tubes because of an unprecedented increase in demand and the recent vendor supply challenges, due in part to a recall. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a Letter to Health Care and Laboratory Personnel that recommends the following conservation strategies:

  • Do not use sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes unless medically necessary.
  • Do not include sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes in routine collections of a variety of specimens at the time of other blood sampling or IV insertion.
  • Do not use sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes as discard tubes; consider clear top or red stopper (no additive) tubes as an alternative.
  • Limit allocation of 1.8mL sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes for difficult blood collections.

FDA will provide updated information to the public as it becomes available.

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Thank you,

The Laboratory Outreach Communication System

Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS) | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)