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BD Vacutainers


The diagnostic process of various diseases relies on the collection of blood or serum samples from the patients. Once samples are collected, they are added to special containers. These containers can then be transported to a laboratory, where appropriate testing procedures are conducted.


Beckinson Dickinson, often simply referred to as BD, is a trusted brand that offers a wide range of tubes, known as vacutainers. These vacutainers come in different models to ensure serum samples can be effectively preserved. The preservation of these samples plays a critical role in ensuring the accuracy of tests that are performed.

We take a closer look at what BD vacutainers are and what they are used for. We also consider different types of vacutainers and look at the best ways to buy these tubes.

What Are BD Vacutainers?

Vacutainers are special tubes that have been designed specifically for the purpose of storing blood samples that are collected from a patient. There are multiple uses for these vacutainers. Blood samples can be collected to assist in testing for a large number of illnesses and conditions, as well as to determine current levels of nutrients, trace elements, and antibodies1.


These tubes can be made from either plastic or glass. The entire tube is completely sterilized, which is a crucial element when working with blood samples. This ensures foreign objects will not combine with the blood sample collected in the tube. In turn, tests conducted with the samples are more accurate. A rubber stopper is found at the top of the BD vacutainer. This stopper also forms a very important part of the tube. Once placed on top, the stopper creates a vacuum seal inside the tube. The vacuum seal ensures there are no compounds that can enter the tube and mix with the sample. This process also helps to preserve the sample that is stored inside the tube.


Certain vacutainers also contain specific additives2. These additives serve different roles, but the primary purpose is to assist in the preservation of the sample that was collected from the patient. Each of the vacutainers comes with a different colored rubber stopper. The color-coding system helps to ensure organizing samples is more efficient. In addition to variations in color, these tubes also come in different designs - some provide specific compounds inside the tube, which serve a purpose such as to assist in the separation of certain compounds found in the blood sample3.

What Are BD Vacutainers Used For?

There are a few reasons why BD vacutainers are chosen by laboratories and healthcare providers as a method of collecting blood samples. It is important to have a thorough understanding of what these vacutainers are used for. This helps a facility understand whether the use of BD vacutainers would be an appropriate option.

Storage is the most obvious reason why BD vacutainers are used. These containers come with a vacuum seal design, as well as additives, which ensures the sample can remain usable for a longer duration of time.


The tubes can also be used as a way of separating compounds that are present in the sample. Certain tubes are used in a device that accommodates this particular purpose.

Transportation is another common reason why BD vacutainers are used. When blood samples are transported to a different facility, such as a laboratory, special care should be taken to ensure the samples are not adversely affected in the process. By storing the samples in a vacutainer, the vacuum seal created helps to ensure the sample remains protected and preserved throughout the transit. Numerous tubes are generally transported in one batch, which is why a tray is also used in the process. The tubes are securely fitted into the tray. Each of the vacutainers comes with its own label, which is filled during the process where the sample is collected. The label contains the patient's data, which ensures test results can be submitted to the correct healthcare provider and linked to the appropriate profile.


It should be noted that different types of vacutainers are also used for specific purposes. When blood samples are stored in a generic tube, they will start to clot and will eventually become unusable. Many of the vacutainers available contain special compounds that prevent this from happening. There is a large variety of additives used in these containers, such as lithium heparin, sodium heparin, silica particles, and serum separators.

What Are The Different Kinds Of BD Vacutainers?

Not all BC vacutainers are the same. It is important for facility owners to understand how each type of vacutainer differs from the rest. This would ensure appropriate tubes are used when blood samples are collected. In turn, there will be less chance of error or mistakes when samples are sent toward a laboratory. We take a closer look at the main types of BD vacutainers that are currently available, along with details on the uses for each of these.

BD Vacutainer EDTA

EDTA is a commonly used type of BD vacutainer. These containers have a coating inside. The coating consists of a compound known as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. In some scientific papers, this compound is also referred to as Edetic acid4. The primary purpose of EDTA is to serve as a type of anticoagulant in the tube. When the collected blood sample is added to the vacutainer, the EDTA will start to bind to calcium found in the patient's sample. By binding to calcium in the sample that is stored in the vacutainer, blood clotting can be effectively prevented. This serves as a preservative, which ensures the blood can be transported to a third-party facility without a risk of clotting - which would render the sample useless when laboratory personnel start with the testing procedures.


There are different types of EDTA formulas used in the production of BD vacutainers. Apart from a standard option, some facilities may rather utilize K2EDTA5. With K2EDTA, the procedure used to combine the Edetic acid with blood differs from the standard options. When using a K2EDTA vacutainer, a spray-dried method is used on the interior walls of the tube.

BD Vacutainer SST

SST vacutainers are generally used in very specific scenarios. These are advanced tubes that are used in the process of centrifugation. The primary purpose of a BD vacutainer SST is to assist in the separation of serum from a blood clot when the sample undergoes a centrifugation procedure. The tube contains a stable gel inside. Once the blood sample is added to the tube, the blood combines with the stable gel.


The term SST refers to Serum Separator Tube. In addition to the plasma separator gel, these tubes will also contain a compound known as lithium heparin. The lithium heparin serves as a clot activator in the tube. There are different types of SST tubes available, including the standard and the SST II option. Researchers have found that the majority of standard tests tend to provide similar results between these two tube options6.

BD Vacutainer PST

When chemistry-related testing procedures are performed, then a BD vacutainer PST tube will often be used. These vacutainers are treated with a specific compound known as lithium heparin. The compound ensures there is no need to wait for an extended period of time for blood to clot effectively. In turn, blood samples can be tested faster - ensuring the patient's test results can be provided without delay.

What Are The Different Measurements?

BD Vacutainers come in different sizes. Certain tests require more or less blood from the patient for tests to be performed. Thus, facilities need to understand the purpose of each measurement.

We stock vacutainers in the following volume options:








Certain types of vacutainers come in specific volumes as well. The provided volume is based on the requirements of the tests that will be conducted with the sample collected.

What Are The Different Colors?

Vacutainers generally come in a variety of color options. In the majority of cases, it is possible to find bundles that feature different colored tubes in one set. The colors help a medical professional or nurse identify the correct container to use for each sample collected from the patient. Different elements and compounds are added to these tubes. Thus, it is crucial to understand the meaning of each color - and use the appropriate color-coded tube when blood samples are extracted from the patient.

     Lavender: EDTA, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, is added to these containers. A lavender vacutainer is used when a patient needs to undergo a hematology test. In this scenario, whole blood is needed for testing purposes. The EDTA in these vacutainers serves as an anticoagulant7.

     Red: A somewhat less frequently used option, but still plays an important role in biochemistry. The red vacutainer is used in cases where serum is needed for biochemistry testing purposes but should not be combined with liquids that are used in the yellow and golden tubes.

     Green: A darker green color is used to indicate the presence of sodium heparin, which serves as a type of anticoagulant. Green tubes are used in biochemistry testing procedures. Whole blood or heparinized plasma can be collected in these vacutainers.

     Gold / Yellow: Yellow vacutainers are sometimes referred to as gold. These containers are versatile. They are generally used in cases where serum separation is needed. Different tests can be conducted on samples collected in these containers. Gold vacutainers are used in endocrinology, immunology, microbiology, biochemistry, toxicology, and oncology.

     Black: A black tube is used for very specific instances. When samples are added to a black vacutainer, it means it will be used for a pediatric ESR.

     Pink: A pink vacutainer is generally used for whole blood samples. These containers are sent toward a transfusion lab. EDTA is added as an anticoagulant compound in the container.

     Gray: A gray bottle is used when the patient's sample is tested either for lactate or glucose. Sodium fluoride is used as an antiglycolytic compound in the container, alongside potassium oxalate, which serves as a type of anticoagulant.

     Light Green: These bottles are rarely used. They form part of biochemistry testing and are used when heparinized plasma is required in a separated form. Lithium heparin is added as a form of the anticoagulant. The tube also contains a plasma separator substance.

     Transparent: When a clear lid is found on a vacutainer, it generally means it is a tube that should be discarded.

     Blue: Blue vacutainers are used as an indication that a patient's sample has to undergo hematology tests. A whole blood sample is collected. Sodium citrate is used as a buffer in the bottle, which serves as a type of reversible anticoagulant.

     Natural: These tubes are sometimes also referred to as tan. They are generally used as an indicator that samples need to be tested for the presence of lead.

     Royal Blue: Sometimes simply referred to as dark blue, these bottles are used in toxicology. Samples are collected to test for trace elements as well, such as copper, selenium, and zinc.

     White: A white tube is used to indicate tests that are conducted for the purpose of molecular diagnostics. This may include studies that amplify DNA or PCR.


There are cases where multiple tubes will be used for one patient. This can be the case when the patient's samples are used for multiple tests. In these situations, it is important for nurses and other medical staff to understand the draw order. Vacutainers should be placed according to the draw order - which makes the process of collecting samples from the patient more effective.

How Should BD Vacutainers Be Handled?

The specific method of use depends on the type of BD vacutainer that is used. In some cases, certain procedures are required after collecting a blood sample before storage. With a tube that contains a gel separator, a gentle inversion of the tube is needed five times. An upright position is then used to place the vacutainer inside the appropriate rack. The vacutainer will be kept at a specific temperature for a period of time, depending on the type of tube used, as well as the purpose of the test.


When transferred to a different facility, vacutainers should be secured in a rack. There are times where the vacutainers need to be kept at a specific temperature - in these cases; appropriate equipment should be used alongside the rack to store the tubes throughout the transit process.

Where Can I Purchase BD Vacutainers?

There are multiple companies that can give facility access to the wide selection of BD vacutainers that are currently available on the market. Laboratories and other facilities can choose to purchase vacutainers from a local retailer or consider turning their search to the internet.


The Betty Mills Company has been offering medical, and research facilities access to BD vacutainers for an extended period of time. We offer a wide range of vacutainers in different colors, ensuring a facility can effectively organize samples that are collected from patients or specific subjects. In addition to BD vacutainers, we also stock a wide selection of additional items that play an important role in the process of collecting samples. This includes collection sets that make the process of obtaining samples from the patient more comfortable and convenient.

How Much Do Vacutainers Cost?

There is no fixed price for BD vacutainers, as the cost is determined by a large number of factors. When ordering vacutainers, factors that will affect the cost include:

     The type of BD vacutainer that was ordered.

     The number of vacutainers in the set.

     The additives are required inside the vacutainers.

BD vacutainers are generally sold in bulk packs. This provides a more cost-effective solution for facilities that collect blood samples from patients. In the majority of cases, the facility will be able to order containers that come with 100 of the vacutainers in one set. A number of alternative pack sizes are also available.

Our prices range from as low as $13.99 for a BD Vacutainer Plus Venous Blood Collection Tube package that comes with 100 pieces included. Each of these tubes can store up to 6ml of a sample and features a red color-coding. Larger bulk packs are also ideal for scenarios where more samples are collected by the facilities. The classic BD Vacutainer Venous Blood Collection Tube comes in a 1000 piece set at a price of $791.07.

It is important for the facility to understand its own needs when trying to determine the costs that will be associated with the acquisition of BD vacutainers.


Beckinson Dickinson offers a wide variety of vacutainers that are used in the collection, storage, and transportation of blood samples. BD vacutainers are available in different models to ensure every need of a particular facility can be met with efficacy. Quality is an important factor in the design of BD vacutainers, and all of the tubes are 100% sterile to assure accurate results when blood samples are tested in a laboratory environment.


1 Clinical And Laboratory Haematology. (1983) The use of Vacutainer tubes for collection and storage of blood for coagulation testing. [online] Available at:

2 NIH. (2014) Effects of additives in blood collection tubes on testing the alcohol concentration in blood samples. [online] Available at:

3 Taylor & Francis Online. (2020) Clot activators and anticoagulant additives for blood collection. [online] Available at:

4 PubChem. Edetic acid. [online] Available at:

5 Clinical and Laboratory Haematology. (1991) K2- or K3-EDTA: the anticoagulant of choice in routine haematology? [online] Available at:

6 International Journal of Clinical Chemistry. (2001) Comparison of BD Vacutainer SST Plus Tubes with BD SST II Plus Tubes for common analytes. [online] Available at:

7 GeekyMedics. (2021) Blood Bottles Guide. [online] Available at: