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Fatty substance in blood drawn from a PICC

Has anyone ever seen a substance like "chicken fat" drawn from a PICC??  I did not see the stuff but the floor nurses swear they drew back a fatty substance.

Any ideas as to what this could be?

That's probably exactly what

That's probably exactly what it was--fat.

What are the patient's lipids like? Weirdest blood sample I ever saw was from a very ill lady with DM and morbid obesity. Think her Triglycerides were something like 600 or 700. Vacutainer sample looked like half blood,half cottage cheese.


I have seen this over the
I have seen this over the years many times. I always wondered if it was from high cholesterol/lipids and also have noticed these patients are obese.
Gwen Irwin
I've seen it too.  The

I've seen it too.  The first time that I heard of it though was from a critical care nurse that thought the PICC I put in was defective and caused the "white" stuff in the blood.  He saved the tube of blood for me to see it the next day, but by then, it looked normal. no white stuff.  Weird.

Gwen Irwin

Austin, Texas

Kathleen Mazza
I've seen it too - Not quite
I've seen it too - Not quite cottage cheese(!) - but still pretty frightening the first time you see particles in blood drawn. Mine was on a peripheral draw, not a PICC. I let the MD know and suggested that they follow-up re: lipid values.

Kathleen Mazza, RN, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Advanced Care, Inc.

Nadine Nakazawa
I saw a blood sample from a
I saw a blood sample from a patient when I was in nursing school 28 years ago.  The blood was creamy (blood but creamy) with a ring of white that settled at the top.   The internist I was observing told me it was called "coffee cream blood" (maybe he made it up).   This was a man from the deep south originally and the doctor said his diet probably had deep fried foods in it every day.  He said the patient probably had a cholesterol level around 10,000.

Nadine Nakazawa, RN, BS, OCN, CRNI, VA-BC

raye dillon
you may have aspirated some
you may have aspirated some organized fibrin or i have seen a patient with a hereditary hyperlipidemia that caused the lipids to separate out to the top of the blood. by the time the lab tech drew the blood and came to the nurses station the entire interior of the tube had a white coating that looked like cold fat. that patient was admitted with pancreatitis and eventually progressed to IDDM (go figure). this form of hyper lipidemia is genetic and has little to do with the diet.
Wendie Silverma...
I draw some labs on a home
I draw some labs on a home infusion patient once and the blood definitely did look different. By the time I brought the blood tubes to the lab for processing, this particular blood tube liquid contents had a whitish-greyish hue and seemed thick. I took the tube to the Laboratory Manager to ask about it. This lab person did not seem surprised and said the patient must have a very high lipid content in their blood. Have only seen this once, never again. I do not remember this patient being obese.
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