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Malaria Blood Smear

Performing Laboratory

Providence Alaska Medical Center

Methodology

Acridine Orange Stain/Red Blood Cell (RBC) Concentration

Specimen Requirements

Specimen must arrive in laboratory within 1 hour of draw. If there is a delay in transport of >1 hour, thin and thick smears may be submitted.

 

Preferred:

Blood

Draw blood in a lavender-top (EDTA) tube(s), and send 3 mL of EDTA whole blood refrigerated. Invert several times to mix blood.

 

Alternate:

Smears

Several thin and thick blood films made from fingerstick blood or lavender-top (EDTA) tube. To prepare blood films, use clean, grease-free slides.
 

Thin Blood Films
1. Using a lead pencil, label frosted end of glass slides with patient’s name (first and last) and specimen type prior to obtaining smear.

2. Prepare with a “feathered edge”; should be no more than a single cell thick.

3. Allow films to thoroughly air dry.

4. Place slides in a plastic slide container.

5. Label plastic slide container with patient’s name (first and last), a second identifier (date of birth, PHSA medical record number, or financial number), and date and actual time of collection.

6. Forward promptly at ambient temperature only.

 

Thick Blood Films
1. Using a lead pencil, label frosted end of glass slides with patient’s name (first and last) and specimen type prior to obtaining smear.

2. Place a large drop of blood (preferably from a fingerstick) on a slide.

3. Using a corner of a second slide, spread drop by literally scratching carrier slide to make blood adhere.

4. Do not fix; air dry only.

5. Place slides in a plastic slide container.

6. Label plastic slide container with patient’s name (first and last), a second identifier (date of birth, PHSA medical record number, or financial number), and date and actual time of collection.

7. Forward promptly at ambient temperature only.

Reference Values

Negative

Critical value (laboratory will call results):  positive

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday

Test Classification and CPT Coding

87207