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PCV/TS Reading

Views: 15275 - Comments: 15

Megan Brashear, CVT, VTS (ECC), discusses measuring a packed cell volume and total solids is fast, inexpensive, and provides a great deal of information. Every staff member should be comfortable performing this, and this video walks you through the steps.

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Megan Brashear's picture
Megan Brashear

CVT VTS(ECC)

Enrolled: 07/2011

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Megan Brashear's picture

Fun fact, if you have a Hg (hemoglobin) reading you can multiply it by 3 and have a good approximation of the PCV. Hg of 8 is (roughly) a PCV of 24%. Fun fact!!

Megan Brashear's picture

Thanks to Jennifer K. for bringing up a great point - if after spinning your PCV tubes you see an opaque white layer between the RBC and plasma this is a buffy coat (made of WBC and platelets). Always read the line below the buffy coat (where it meets the RBC) so as not to artificially inflate your PCV. This particular case had no buffy coat but I'm now on the lookout for a good photo to add to the video. Thanks again Jennifer!

laura sherman's picture

Great procedure guide; it is also important to make sure not to scrape the broken end of the microhematocrit tube on the refractometer as you transfer the plasma.

Andrea Howard's picture

A simple solution to having small pieces of glass drop on the refractometer as you apply your sample is: turn the tube over and apply the sample from the unbroken end. Just a little tip I figured out.

Marie McNamara's picture

Great Instructional video Megan! Clear and precise instructions. Would love a little bit of "reasoning" included such as "What we are lookng for by testing the PCV is the percentage of red blood cells per liter of blood. A low number could indicate a condition like anemia while a high number could indicate a condition like dehydration." This coming from a non technical person of course!

Megan Brashear's picture

Thanks Marie, I recently wrote an article about how to interpret PCV and TS, it should be up soon!

Terri Massa's picture

And always make sure that the sealed end of the tube is toward the outside of the centrifuge!

Lisa suski's picture

So I've been taught that pushing the seal wax down with your fingers (in order to be able to reuse it over and over) weakens the wax, thus causing a "blow out" in the spinner. Every other clinic, than the one I learned this at, does this. These things are so cheap but some clinics are even cheaper. They often have problems with the spinning process but I can't find any research to support my training.

Megan Brashear's picture

Lisa, I agree with the not smearing the wax/clay with your fingers, my understanding is that the grease from fingers makes the wax or clay more slippery and thus more apt to blow out. Not sure if there's been any research, although a fun project to try! Always looking to save a few pennies, but the clay is SO CHEAP we should be looking to save elsewhere. But I've been there!

Michelle  Partak 's picture

Also when you push on the clay where those used spots are trying to fill in you are putting in kind of like an air bubble between as you may not fill in enough/attach the two clay pieces together so when you go to use those spots again your clay plug in the bottom of your tube isn't as strong as it will have parts of air between and as you already mentioned the oil from your skin used to push on the clay would add to not having a tight seal in your tube. I would also add in as part of the process of centrifuging your HCT tubes you will need to screw on the safety lid before closing the centrifuge top and pressing start in the case of tubes breaking while spinning so fast/if off balance and pieces of glass flying all over in risk of staff safety .

Jessica Waters-Miller's picture

Very good point Michelle! You are correct about the oil, dirt and air bubbles.Thank you for the reminder that making sure the lid is on correctly and tightly is very important (as we have all learned at one point or another). I will pass this along to keep in mind when we are updating content.