Copper Sulfate

The minimum requirement of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for suitable blood donors is 12.5 g/dL hemoglobin level or 38% packed cell volume (hematocrit) for fingerstick or venipuncture sampling methods. Copper Sulfate Solution, Specific Gravity 1.053, Group No. 2330, is equivalent to these limits. The AABB and FDA no longer make a distinction between levels for male and female donors. We continue to offer Group No. 2340, the original solution for screening male donors (specific gravity 1.055), even though it is officially no longer required, for those customers that may still want to use the higher screening levels that were previously recommended for male blood donors. RICCA CHEMICAL COMPANY determines the specific gravity of its Copper Sulfate Specific Gravity solutions using a pycnometer, a very accurate device for determining specific gravity, and a temperature of 25°C (77°F). The specific gravities of these solutions are certified traceable to the NIST national standards of mass and temperature.

Note that routine quality control testing of the following Copper Sulfate Specific Gravity solutions using common specific gravity hydrometers with scales calibrated at 60°F/60°F will give erroneously low results due to temperature incompatibilities. Specific Gravity measurements can be very dependent on the temperatures of the sample and reference solutions. When a drop of blood from a donor is dropped into the Copper Sulfate solution it immediately adjusts to the temperature of the solution. Since the change in Specific Gravity with temperature of both the blood and the Copper Sulfate solution are approximately the same, it is not necessary to adjust the temperature of the Copper Sulfate solution before use.

See our Technical Reference Document TRD12, available at, for more information on using Copper Sulfate solutions for blood donor screening.