Imperial Collage Healthcare

Film – blood

Test Background
A blood film allows examination of the physical characteristics of the red cells, white cells and platelets using microscopy. A blood film can be reviewed for the following reasons:
• to detect erroneous blood counts
• to confirm significant abnormalities flagged by automated counters
• to provide supplementary information that cannot be gained from an automated count
• to assist in the diagnosis of blood disorders, such as leukaemias and other haematological malignancies, anaemias of various kinds, including haemolytic anaemias and inherited abnormalities, and any significant platelet abnormalities of morphology and number, particularly those that may be due to TTP or ITP, or the presence of malarial parasites
• to give an opinion based on clinical details, blood count and blood film
• to perform a manual differential count when indicated

Clinical Indications
FBC results flagged by the automated analyser or by technical staff, demonstrating an apparent abnormality in cell population, distribution or artifact will automatically be selected for a manual blood film Clinicians may also request manual blood films where there is a strong clinical suspicion of underlying haematological pathology or related disease states (eg. DIC)

Sample Required
4 mL EDTA (lavender top) adults0.5 mL EDTA (lavender top) paediatrics

Sample Volume
0.5 mL adult tube0.2 mL paediatric tube

Turnaround Time
Urgent films: same dayNon-urgent films: 48-72 hours

Guidance on interpreting blood films

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