Abstract At least one in 10 patients experience adverse events while receiving hospital care. Many of the errors are related to laboratory diagnostics. Efforts to reduce laboratory errors over recent decades have primarily focused on the measurement process while pre- and post-analytical errors including errors in sampling, reporting and decision-making have received much less attention. Proper sampling and additives to the samples are essential. Tubes and additives are identified not only in writing on the tubes but also by the colour of the tube closures. Unfortunately these colours have not been standardised, running the risk of error when tubes from one manufacturer are replaced by the tubes from another manufacturer that use different colour coding. EFLM therefore supports the worldwide harmonisation of the colour coding for blood collection tube closures and labels in order to reduce the risk of pre-analytical errors and improve the patient safety.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2015, Vol 53, Issue 3, p. 371-6