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More on Checking for Clots

Hi George. At Clarian, we still check every coag tube for a clot before running it on our analyzers. With our ever-increasing work load, I am debating whether or not to let this old habit of mine go. I have had techs run samples that are clotted to see what range of results I get and they are all over the place. Some of them actually had normal PTs and PTTs! Most PTTs were short, around 22 seconds, but the PTs were everywhere. The only consistent parameter was the D-dimers, all were elevated. How do others deal with clotted samples by reviewed data generated?
Hi, Kim. I am sorry I delayed posting this message. When I read it I immediately asked Ankush to use it for our Quick Question, but then neglected to post your message. My problem with not checking for clots before running them is that, unlike in hematology, our instruments generate no consistent set of results when the specimen has a small clot. You could report, for example, a prolonged PT and PTT from a normal specimen or a normal PT or PTT on a heparin specimen. I know that we continue to check for clots in specimens from our units most prone to clotting (just between us, that is usually the ED), and pass the rest through to the instrument.
I’d like to learn how others manage this. Geo.

Comments (1)
Feb 21, 2010 8:01pm

We check visually before centrifuging; then check any implau
We check visually before centrifuging; then check any implausible results with applicators. Exactly the same as your comments, no consistent results. Small clots usually give short PTTs.
I think visual check is a must: it helps to pay attention to your work from the moment you get the sample.

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