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Blood Tube Supply Disruption

**Please read as there are steps that you need to take**

There is a supply disruption in relation to Becton Dickinson (BD) blood tubes which may continue for several months and is expected to be severe by the end of August. This is due to a global shortage of blood tube components, which may affect other suppliers in due course.


Immediate action is required to ensure that blood tube usage is reduced and urgent care can be prioritised. Please read the information below and review/modify your practice to only request tests that are clinically indicated and are a priority.


  1. Inpatient assessment; please only test for a clinical indication in a patient and increase the testing interval for monitoring where it is clinically safe to do so.
  2. Only take one sample for HbA1c and FBC, these will be run on the same tube.
  3. In general, only one serum gel tube is required for the majority of biochemistry requests. Please don’t take spare samples.
  4. Where possible, additional test requests should be added to the tubes that have already been received by the laboratory rather than taking an additional tube.
  5. Repeat requesting should be minimised – all users are asked to familiarise themselves with the minimum testing intervals:

 g147_national-minimum_retesting_intervals_in_pathology.pdf (

  1. Please try to avoid repeat requests when patients are moved between wards and services unless clinically indicated.
  2. Urine albumin creatinine ratios and spot urine samples must be taken into urine Monovette tubes, rather standard universal containers.
  3. Any training that involves the use of additional tubes should be delayed.

Full details are available on the NHS England website


Please do not underestimate the severity of this situation and do all you can to reduce the risk of a complete breakdown in supply.