Peripheral blood smears are usually ordered together with a full blood count. A full blood count is able to give the quantitative results of the blood cells whereas morphological abnormalities of the blood cells are viewed from the blood smear. Using different stains on the smears allow viewing of the different blood components including inclusion bodies and even parasites.
- EDTA preserved whole blood
- Glass slide and spreader
- Lens paper
- Hair dryer
- Make sure the glass slide and spreader are clean using the lens paper.
- Place 1 drop of well-mixed EDTA blood approximately 1 cm from the end of the glass slide, in the center.
3. Hold the clean spreader at a 30° angle (in relation to the slide) just in front of the blood drop.
4. Move the spreader backwards to touch the blood drop.
5. Allow the blood to spread the entire width of the spreader.
6. Push the spreader rapidly and smoothly across the glass slide while maintaining the angle of the spreader. The blood should spread across 2/3 of the entire glass slide.
7. Dry the slide using a hair dryer at the lowest speed. The smear can also be air-dried.
8. The blood smear can now be used for staining.
* Fast spreading will result in longer and thinner films.
Angles more than 30° will result in thicker smear.
Large blood drops will cause the smear to extend beyond the length of the slide.