Peripheral Blood Smear Preparation

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course White Cell and Platelet Disorders: Peripheral Blood Clues to Nonneoplastic Conditions. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about White Cell and Platelet Disorders: Peripheral Blood Clues to Nonneoplastic Conditions (online CE course)
Peripheral Blood Smear Preparation

A reproducible blood smear review requires every peripheral smear be prepared for consistent cellular distribution and proper clarity. Well-made peripheral smears can be prepared by starting with only a drop of blood at one end of a clean glass slide. The drop is smeared lightly and quickly with a wedge technique so as to leave a thin "feather" edge where all cells may be examined individually, particularly red blood cells.
After staining the slide, the examination begins. The site of examination is chosen; away from clumping, piling, or stacking of the red blood cells. This can most likely be observed at a site five or six oil fields from the end of the feathery portion (about 100 red cells per field). Such an area for examination is illustrated in the image to the bottom right.