How to get the most from blood samples: a guide to producing diagnostic blood smears

Marie Jones
Saturday, May 2, 2020

The production of high-quality diagnostic blood smears is a skill often overlooked in first opinion veterinary practices despite their usefulness in providing diagnostic information that would otherwise be omitted from results generated from automated analysers. Well made, well stained diagnostic blood smears can instantly provide vital information regarding the health of the patient and even provide a diagnosis. However, making quality blood smears is open to intraspecific and interspecific observer error and therefore this article aims to provide best practice guidelines along with a comprehensive troubleshooting guide to aid veterinary clinicians, nurses, technicians and students in the production of diagnostic blood smears.

Figure 1. An example of poorly made fresh blood smears submitted to the Diagnostic Laboratories of the Royal Veterinary College, London.
Figure 1. An example of poorly made fresh blood smears submitted to the Diagnostic Laboratories of the Royal Veterinary College, London.

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