The most common considerations in the preparation of plasma include:
• Failure to collect specimen in correct additive.
• Failure to mix specimen with additive immediately after collection.
• Hemolysis or red blood cell breakdown.
• Incomplete filling of the tube, thereby creating a dilution factor excessive for total specimen volume (QNS).
• Failure to separate plasma from cells within 15 to 30 minutes of venipuncture for those specimens requiring this step.
• Failure to label transport tubes as “plasma.”
• Failure to indicate type of anticoagulant (eg, “EDTA,” “citrate,” etc).