Automated hematology analyzers constitute quick and effective screening tools to monitor the overall blood status of a patient. However, such instruments do not identify all morphologically abnormal cell forms. Instead, the analyzers indicate cell abnormalities through system messages, so called parameter flags. In such cases, a manual examination of the sample by a microscopic morphological count is recommended.
For an accurate manual cell count, the quality of the blood smear is important. This entails the practice of good slide preparation and staining procedure.
Top tips from the laboratory technician
Here we list a few things to consider when preparing a microscopy slide.
Blood sampling procedure
Manual microscopy can be done using both venous and capillary samples. For skin puncture and capillary blood sampling, see “capillary blood sample collection” (1).