Blue Lab Coat Stories: Blood Bath! When 27 Blood Samples Are Processed In One Day!

Boss said there maybe days like this. Days where your whole day is devoted to taking people’s blood and extract all the good stuff out of it for monitoring patient’s progress through cancer treatment. Oh the fun of having twenty-seven total blood samples come in, and processing them all in eight hours. It’s a job for Super Lab Personnel! But sadly there is no Super Lab People, just us normal peeps asking how in the world can there be so much blood coming in today? This is not the norm because twenty-seven bloods is how much I receive over two and a half days of work.

So let me put this in perspective, twenty-seven total blood samples. Twenty two are a full 100ml of blood each ( 10, 9.5ml tubes per a set on average). Twenty two bloods equals 2,200ml of blood  (roughly 2.2 liters) of blood total! Then we had seven 10ml tubes of blood. seven bloods equals 700ml of blood for serum processing. Combined that all together and you get 2,900ml of blood (2.9 liters of blood) total! Is your head spinning yet? So the question is how much blood does the human body have? Hmmm…. lets find out! On average the human body has 5-6 liters of blood, give or take depending on size of body. Now let me make it very clear, 2.9 liters did not come from one person! It all came from  twenty-seven different subjects. By the end of the processing of all this blood, the amount of good stuff is smaller in volume. On average, from one 100ml blood sample, we can get about 4-25 tubes of 1ml each. For the 10ml we get about 3.2ml of blood serum total. By the end of the processing all the heavy dense red blood cells and other non immune cells in the blood are taken out of the sample. Still it is a lot of volume to process.

Now I’m not complaining, but I’m very tired for spending eight hours today processing blood and the paper work involved in this whole process. The life of a cancer lab technologist. At least this is not the norm, and hopefully all will be normal tomorrow.