Tue 5 Aug, 2008 01:24 am
Serum after centrifuging
I am a medical examiner and part of my job is to collect blood specimens, centrifuge and separate the cells and serum. I have run into several interesting finds while doing this and have not been able to find answers elsewhere.
Does anyone know
1) what causes the serum to have an orangish/reddish tint as opposed to an opaque yellowish tint?
2) what would cause the serum to be cloudy/milky?
I have gone over all obvious answers-- I have not allowed the specimens to sit too long [spoil], I waited the appropriate amount of time before centrifuging, and specimens are properly refrigerated.
I don't know if this will help because I don't know what happens to the serum post mordem, but I did have an experience on a living patient, (although very close to death) that i drew blood on and promptly got a call from the lab stating the serum was milky. In this case, the patient had been on TPN with Lipids, but the sample I drew was NOT taken out her central line, but a peripheral stick on the other side of the lines so I didn't understand how there would have been enough lipids to make it spin out cloudy, but testing the sample, that is what they came up with.
Is anything unusual showing up in the test results of these samples? Interested in hearing what else you learn from others about this. Good luck! :-)