Blood test tube shortage could reduce wasteful testing

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a shortage of blue top blood test tubes, and the experience could reduce wasteful testing even after supply chain issues are rectified.

Physicians who were alerted about scarce supplies ordered 29 percent fewer blood clotting tests, according to a study published July 18 in Jama Internal Medicine. The reduced level of tests ordered lasted for months after the shortage alerts were initially introduced.

Previous studies have suggested that as much as 90 percent of some tests with the blue top tubes are not clinically indicated, the study said.

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