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Random and Systematic Errors, continued

Random error affects the precision of a test (reproducibility). Some things that could cause random errors are:
  • Bubbles in reagents or reagent lines
  • Instrument instability
  • Temperature variations
  • Operator variability, such as variation in pipetting
Systematic error causes inaccurate results that are consistently low or high. Some things that could cause systematic errors include:
  • Change in reagent lot
  • Change in calibration
  • Assigning the wrong calibrator values
  • Reagents that were improperly prepared or are deteriorating
  • Pipettor maintenance error (not adjusted correctly or misaligned)
  • Photometric light source in the instrument that is deteriorating