The FDA says there is a blood collection equipment shortage in the US, including blood specimen collection tubes. The agency updated its medical device shortage list to include all blood specimen collection tubes (product codes GIM and JKA) to the testing supplies and equipment – specimen collection category. The list previously included sodium citrate (light blue top) tubes only.
The device shortage list reflects the categories of devices the FDA has determined to be in shortage at this time. The FDA will continue to update the list as the COVID-19 public health emergency evolves.
To mitigate ongoing shortages, the FDA is providing blood specimen collection tube conservation strategies. Some of the agency’s recommendations include:
- Only perform blood draws considered medically necessary.
- Remove duplicate test orders to avoid unnecessary blood draws.
- Avoid testing too frequently or extend time intervals between tests whenever possible.
- Reduce tests at routine wellness visits and allergy testing only to those that target specific disease states or where it will change patient treatment.
- Consider add-on testing or sharing samples between laboratory departments if previously collected specimens are available.
- If you need a discard tube, use a tube type that has a greater quantity available at your facility.
- Consider point of care testing that does not require using blood specimen collection tubes (lateral flow tests).
Blood Collection Equipment Shortage
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