Skip links and keyboard navigation

Blood tube recognition: order of draw

This page provides health professionals with the recommended order of draw when collecting and using blood tube. Reference source for this is Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute H3A6.

When filling evacuated tube from a syringe, please use the blood transfer device. Gently invert tubes 6-8 times to ensure adequate mixing.

Microtainers are not suitable for all tests due to the small volume. For additional information refer to the pathology test list.

An illustrative poster of the below items is also available—download the Blood tube specimen collection: Order of draw A3 poster (PDF, 1.3 MB).

Show all

  • Optimal recovery of microorganisms from blood is dependent on culturing adequate sample volume.

    Blood culture bottles showing draw volume(s)



    1 x yellow O2 4ml


    1 x green O2 10ml
    1 x orange ANO2 10ml

  • Must fill to line.
    Paediatric citrate tube requires exactly 1.3mL volume.
    1.8mL citrate tube must be stored upright.

    Citrate tubes showing draw volume(s)

    • COAG
    • INR
    • APTT
    • Anti-Xa
    • D-Dimer
    • Factor VIII
    • Factor IX
  • SST tubes showing draw volume(s)

    • CHEM20
    • ONC Profile
    • EBV
    • Anti HTLV
    • Toxoplasma
    • HEP B
    • HEP C
    • CMV
    • HIV
    • Syphilis
    • HSV I/II
    • VZV
    • Methotrexate
    • Cortisol
    • Gentamicin
    • Vancomycin
    • CRP
    • TNI
  • Serum (no gel) tubes showing draw volume(s)

    • HITTS
    • Cold agglutinins
  • Trace element tube showing draw volume(s)

    Copper studies, zinc, selenium,

  • Lithium heparin tubes showing draw volume(s)

    Alternative tube for biochemistry
    tests in selected anticoagulated
    patients e.g. renal dialysis

  • Lithium heparin (no gel) tubes showing draw volume(s)

    • FISH chromosomes (blood)
    • Karyotype
    • Cytogenetics
    • Plasma haemoglobin (2mL or 6mL)
  • PCR, manganese and molecular genetic tests require a dedicated sample and can't be used with any other tests.

    Transfusion must be in dedicated tube.

    EDTA tubes showing draw volume(s)

    • FBC
    • CMVPCR
    • EBVPCR
    • CYCA
    • TACRO
    • Posaconazole
    • CD34 Count
    • X Match
    • Group and hold
    • TMLOG
    • Manganese
    • Hep C PCR
    • Clozapine
    • Sirolimus
    • Everlimus
    • Chimerism Studies
    • Molecular genetic tests
    • HbA1c
    • Malaria screen
  • Fill tube to correct volume

    ESR tubes showing draw volume(s)


  • Flouride oxalate tubes showing draw volume(s)

    • Glucose
    • Lactate
  • ACD yellow tube showing draw volume(s)

    • Tissue typing
    • HLA
    • B27
  • Quantiferon tubes showing draw volume(s)

    Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Blood gas syringes showing draw volume(s)

    Venous and arterial gases

Last updated: 30 June 2022