General BD Vacutainer® Blood Collection Tube FAQ

Answers to general questions about BD Vacutainer® blood collection tubes.

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What type of plastic is used to produce BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes?

BD Vacutainer Plus Tubes are made of a special formulation of the plastic, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This special formulation is extremely strong, dimensionally stable, and resistant to chemicals and breakage.

What speed and time should the BD Vacutainer Blood Collection tubes be spun at?

All non-gel separator blood collection tubes, including those that contain heparin, EDTA and non-gel serum tubes can be centrifuged at ≤1300 RCF for 10 minutes. The BD Vacutainer SST and PST gel tubes should be spun at room temperature at a speed of 1000 to 1300 RCF for 10 minutes in a swinging bucket centrifuge and 15 minutes in a fixed-angle centrifuge. The BD Vacutainer Barricor plasma blood collection tubes have a mechanical separator and must be spun at a minimum RCF of 1800 for 10 min in a swinging bucket centrifuge. BD Barricor tubes are optimally spun at an RCF of 4000 for 3 min in a swinging bucket centrifuge. BD Barricor tubes are not compatible with fixed angle centrifuges.

What coatings layer the walls of BD Vacutainer Plus serum and SST tubes?

BD Vacutainer Plus plastic serum and SST tubes are coated with silicone and micronized silica particles to accelerate clotting. A silicone coating reduces adherence of red cells to tube walls. The silica coating can sometimes cause the inner tube wall to appear cloudy and/or filmy. This cloudy appearance does not make the tubes unacceptable for use.

How are BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes packaged?

Most BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes are packaged 100 tubes/box and 1,000 tubes/case (10 boxes).

Are BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes endotoxin free?

No, BD does not claim that any of the Vacutainer blood collection tubes are endotoxin free.

Do BD Vacutainer® blood collection tubes expire at the beginning or end of the month?

The expiration date on the tube label is stated as a Year/Month/Day.

How should expired BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes be disposed of?

Local trash collectors should be consulted to see what the proper method of disposal is for unused, expired blood collection products.

Are BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes sterile?

Yes, BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes have a sterile interior. Tubes are sterilized by gamma radiation.

Can BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes be re-sterilized, for introduction into a sterile field?

BD Vacutainer tubes are irradiated to achieve sterility. These tubes are sterile on the interior only. We cannot recommend re-sterilizing the tubes, i.e., ETO (ethylene oxide) or autoclaving, primarily due to pressure changes that take place during the re-sterilization cycle. Our tubes are under a specific negative pressure. During the re-sterilization cycle this negative pressure may be disrupted and therefore the tubes may not draw the proper blood volume.

Does BD offer any tubes that can be introduced into a sterile field?

BD does offer a sterile peel-apart pouch (reference number 366401) that contains a 10 mL glass red top serum tube and 7 mL glass lavender top EDTA tube.

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