Blood film

Blood film
Peripheral blood smear - stained and unstained.jpg
Two push-type peripheral blood smears suitable for characterization of cellular blood elements. Left smear is unstained, right smear is stained with Wright-Giemsa stain.

A blood film—or peripheral blood smear—is a thin layer of blood smeared on a glass microscope slide and then stained in such a way as to allow the various blood cells to be examined microscopically. Blood films are examined in the investigation of hematological (blood) disorders and are routinely employed to look for blood parasites, such as those of malaria and filariasis.


Blood films are made by placing a drop of blood on one end of a slide, and using a spreader slide to disperse the blood over the slide's length. The aim is to get a region, called a monolayer, where the cells are spaced far enough apart to be counted and differentiated. The monolayer is found in the "feathered edge" created by the spreader slide as it draws the blood forward.

Unstained smear
Stained smear
Wright-Giemsa stained
Closeups of the feathered edge of blood smears. The pale middle band of the gradient is the monolayer.

The slide is left to air dry, after which the blood is fixed to the slide by immersing it briefly in methanol. The fixative is essential for good staining and presentation of cellular detail. After fixation, the slide is stained to distinguish the cells from each other.

Routine analysis of blood in medical laboratories is usually performed on blood films stained with Romanowsky stains such as Wright's stain, Giemsa stain, or Diff-Quik. Wright-Giemsa combination stain is also a popular choice. These stains allow for the detection of white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet abnormalities. Hematopathologists often use other specialized stains to aid in the differential diagnosis of blood disorders.

After staining, the monolayer is viewed under a microscope using magnification up to 1000x. Individual cells are examined and their morphology is characterized and recorded.[1][2]

Other Languages
العربية: شريحة دم
Deutsch: Blutausstrich
euskara: Odol-frotis
français: Frottis sanguin
한국어: 혈액 도말
Bahasa Indonesia: Sediaan apus darah
עברית: משטח דם
polski: Rozmaz krwi
Simple English: Blood film
slovenščina: Krvni razmaz