Extra Blood Tubes, Useful or Wasteful Practice?

November 17, 2016

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Most of the extra vials of blood drawn for laboratory tests never get used and are instead discarded. Matthew Krasowski, MD, PhD (Clinical Professor, Department of Pathology), Robert Humble (Carver College of Medicine) and Hermann Hounkponou (Health Care Information Systems) analyzed six years’ worth of electronic medical record information on the number of extra tubes of blood drawn for different departments and how often those tubes were used for add-on testing. A total of 370,601 extra tubes of blood were collected between May 2009 and June 2015. The majority came from inpatient units (46 percent), while outpatient units accounted for 30 percent, and the emergency department (ED) for 24 percent. Overall, only 7 percent of these extra tubes were used for add-on tests, and some tube types were used less than four times out of 1,000. The findings were published Nov. 7 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Robert Humble completed the project as part of the Carver College of Medicine Summer Research Fellowship program.

The "Rainbow" of Extra Blood Tubes-Useful or Wasteful Practice?
View full article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study questions usefulness of ‘rainbow draw’
Read the article posted on the loop.