Thanks to Dave McGlasson for a link to Facebook page, Medical Laboratory Science Hidden Heroes where on May 14, Amy Irwin asked, “So from what I hear the Na citrate blue top tube shortage is nationwide. What is your plan for anyone experiencing this?” Checking an April 16 NPR News report, there is a nationwide shortage of basic laboratory supplies such as transfer pipettes and other plastics. The report brushes on quarantine delays in shipping and loss of production following the February, 2021 Texas power crisis. Some facilities are requiring admitting physicians to document indications for screening PTs and PTTs, others prepare specimen tubes manually. Has your facility had a problem with tube supplies, and what has been your solution?
May 26: Thanks to Bob Gosselin for polling several hemostasis opinion leaders, three of whom report delayed or back-ordered citrate tube supplies. We will be following up on this concern.
Both BD and Greiner have
Both BD and Greiner have confirmed a global shortage of sodium citrate tubes due to increased coag testing related to Covid infections. BD suggested the following strategies in a recent letter to their customers:
1. Evaluate potentially unnecessary collection of coagulation tubes, such as in “rainbow” tube arrays of extra tubes, and standing orders for coagulation tests
2. Avoid the use of coagulation tubes as discard tubes
3. Consider the use of point-of-care instruments for routine coagulation testing
4. Reserve the use of smaller volume 1.8mL coagulation tubes for patient populations that cannot be drawn with larger volume 2.7ml coagulation tubes
5. Consider the use of coagulation tubes from alternate suppliers, as recommended by their instution’s [sic] laboratory director