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How Does Sample Haemolysis Affect My Test Results?

When your results are reported as having had a haemolysed sample, this refers to when the red blood cells have burst upon or after sample collection. This does not indicate any health problem or risk.

Typically haemolysis can occur:

  • when the finger is squeezed too hard during sample collection,
  • after collection due to vigorously mixing or shaking of the sample tube,
  • or in transit due to exposure to high temperature.

Haemolysis affects the analysis of certain tests, so when no results can be achieved we are able to offer you a repeat test at no charge.

To help minimise the risk of haemolysis, don't squeeze your finger too hard when collecting your blood sample, and take extra care when mixing sample tube(s) thoroughly, but gently, after collection.

Dr. Kate Bishop | University of Birmingham

Last Updated 18th September 2020

By Dr. Kate Bishop

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