Cyanide in Whole Blood

Brief Description

This method is a quantitative procedure for measurement of Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) in whole blood using static headspace sampling and gas chromatography with mass selective detection.

Laboratory Unit

Chemical Threat


GC-MSD (Gas Chromatography with Mass Selective Detection)

Specimen Collection

Whole Blood:

Collect as soon as possible after exposure. Collect in 5 or 7mL vacutainers containing EDTA (K2) or Heparin, with a minimum of 0.75 mL of sample. Two empty containers of the same lot number should be submitted with the specimen.


Consultation is required with GPHL Emergency Response Coordinator Req 24/7 contact number866-782-4584.  

Whole Blood Store refrigerated can be maintained at refrigerated temperature (2-8°C) during transit.               

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Whole Blood

Test Request

Possible Results

  • 25 µg/L - 2500 µg/L
  • Not detected
  • Unsatisfactory
  • PGC (Present but greater than highest calibrator)

Reference Range

<100 µg/L

Unacceptable Conditions

  • Missing testing requisition.
  • Missing minimum of 2 patient identifiers.
  • No specimen received (empty collection tube).
  • Specimen leaked, damaged, or crushed in transit
  • Incorrect specimen type.
  • Patient identifier on specimen does not match that on form.
  • Low volume (< 0.75 mL).
  • Failure to maintain temperature.
  • Frozen or hemolyzed specimen.
  • Suspected contamination.
  • Clotted specimen.
  • Expired sample collection container.

Interfering Substances


Result Reported

1-5 business days

Turnaround times may be affected by the scale of the event.


No charge

LOINC/Order Codes

43183-3 (Order Code: CT011100)