Over the past 6 months, there has been unprecedented demand for Sodium Citrate tubes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and alternative vendor supply challenges. Due to their use in monitoring a person’s clotting time, especially if they are on blood thinners such as Coumadin, they are a staple in delivering diagnostic services to long-term care populations.

These evacuated blood tubes feature a light blue-colored top and are primarily used for coagulation testing.  Some common testing done with these tubes includes Prothrombin Time (PT), D-Dimer, APTT, and Fibrinogen. D-Dimer testing that was previously done as a send-out, for instance, will now be done in-house as part of supply conservation efforts.

The national shortage was recognized by the US Food & Drug Administration on June 10th, 2021, and is currently expected to last until mid-summer 2021. National vendors, BD and Greiner, are both experiencing large backorder situations and are working to increase production to meet the demand.

Aculabs is working closely with distributors and monitoring local inventory levels to ensure we have enough to meet our patient diagnostic and treatment needs.

We ask all client facilities to implement the following actions as recommended by the FDA until this situation is corrected:

  • Do not include sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes in routine collections of a variety of specimens at the time of other blood sampling or IV insertion.
  • Do not use sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes unless medically necessary.
  • Do not use sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes as discard tubes; consider clear top or red stopper (no additive) tubes as an alternative.
  • Perform testing for anticoagulant drug monitoring on point of care devices in locations where this instrumentation already exists.

Distribution of this product to our laboratory customers will be allocated based on current inventory and previous supply request history. Thank you for your cooperation as we navigate this national shortage.