Preanalytic errors are errors that occur prior to the testing process. Hemolyzed specimens, clotted specimens, incorrect tube type, and inadequate tube fill can all produce preanalytic errors.
Fortunately, many of these errors can be detected by the laboratory analyst so that corrections can be made before testing begins or before resulting and reporting the test. Unfortunately, the correction that needs to be made usually involves redrawing the patient.
The table on the following page lists several preanalytic errors that can occur during the phlebotomy procedure.