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Activity: Preparing a Blood Smear

If you'd like to see red blood cells, you'll need to learn how to do a Blood Smear. Everything is simple except pricking your finger!

Level: Adult supervision (Perhaps for a blood donation too, unless someone has a boo-boo!)

Materials: Slide, cover slip, needle, matches or lighter

First sterilize the needle with a flame.  Allow the needle to cool, then prick the finger of some brave soul.  Dispose of the needle.  (Do not re-use on another person!)

Caution!  Blood can carry diseases that can be transferred from person to person. One should always avoid coming into contact with another person's blood.  If it is unavoidable, one should wear rubber gloves.

Put a drop of blood toward one end of a slide.Preparing a Blood Smear

Now, as shown in the illustration, while tilting the coverslip toward the drop, slowly move it toward the drop until it contacts the blood and "grabs" the drop.

Now, without changing the tilt of the coverslip, move it back over the slide, so as to draw the blood across the slide.

You do not need to add water, and you do not need a cover slip for this slide.

Congratulations!  You have done a blood smear!

Next you may want to check out our activity: Examining Blood

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