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.

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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 below.