What does it mean if a blood sample is hemolyzed?

The term hemolysis designates the pathological process of breakdown of red blood cells in blood, which is typically accompanied by varying degrees of red tinge in serum or plasma once the whole blood specimen has been centrifuged.

What tests are affected by hemolyzed blood?

It falsely decreases values such as RBC’s, HCT, and aPTT. It can also falsely elevate potassium, ammonia, magnesium, phosphorus, AST, ALT, LDH and PT.

Are hemolyzed specimens acceptable?

(6) They concluded that testing hemolyzed samples and reporting results for BUN, creatinine, amylase, and lipase was acceptable while testing and reporting phosphorus, sodium, potassium, total protein and LDH provided results that were unacceptably compromised.

Can hemolyzed blood be tested?

Hemolysis may also be due to pathological conditions, such as immune reactions, infections, medications, toxins and poisons, and therapeutic procedures. Frequently, laboratory testing can still be performed on a hemolyzed sample.

How do you prevent a hemolyzed blood sample?

Best Practices to Prevent Hemolysis

  1. Use the correct needle size for blood collection (20-22 gauge).
  2. Avoid using butterfly needles, unless specifically requested by patient.
  3. Warm up the venipuncture site to increase blood flow.
  4. Allow disinfectant on venipuncture site to dry completely.

What are the reasons for hemolysis?


  • chemicals.
  • infections.
  • medicines such as penicillin, acetaminophen, quinidine, rifampin, heparin, and clopidogrel.
  • any condition that causes increased spleen activity.
  • immune reactions, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and incompatible blood transfusion.
  • intense physical exercise.

Why is hemolyzed sample not accepted?

Serum/plasma samples submitted for potassium measurement are quite frequently rejected for analysis because they show the telltale signal of hemolysis, i.e. a reddish discoloration due to the presence of hemoglobin.

Why is hemolyzed samples not accepted?

What sample is most likely to be hemolyzed?

Which specimen is more likely to be hemolyzed, an evacuated tube drawn specimen or a syring drawn specimen? why? A syringe drawn specimen because of the higher risk for trauma during the transfer of the specimen from syringe to tube and the delay before the blood is mixed with the anti-coagulant.

What are the signs and symptoms of hemolysis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal paleness or lack of color of the skin.
  • Yellowish skin, eyes, and mouth (jaundice)
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Fever.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Confusion.
  • Can’t handle physical activity.

Can hemolysis cause death?

Hemolytic anemia itself is rarely fatal, especially if treated early and properly, but the underlying conditions can be. Sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease decreases life expectancy, although people with this condition are now living into their 50s and beyond, due to new treatments.