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Useful tips to avoid preanalytical errors in blood gas testing: electrolytes

Preanalytical errors are said to be the reason for up to 75 % [1] of all errors in laboratory medicine. The diagnostic consequences depend on the magnitude of the preanalytical error. In worst case, these errors may lead to mistreatment of patients; in all cases, these errors are an extra workload for the hospital staff involved. It is in the interest of everybody involved in laboratory medicine and the safety of the patients to keep the preanalytical factors under control. One way to avoid preanalytical errors is to implement standardized procedures and educate all staff involved in all phases of the sampling process: from patient preparation to analysis of the sample.

This article provides useful tips for avoiding preanalytical errors on electrolyte parameters; tips which you can incorporate in your standardized procedures and training of your staff. The article is a part of a series of articles dealing with preanalytical errors in blood gas testing.

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