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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Body Fluid Differential Tutorial. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Trauma STAT

Notice the wide variety of bacterial types that are present in this smear. This variety reflects the diversity of organisms that make up normal bowel flora.

When the bowel is torn or punctured, an incredibly large amount of bacteria and foreign matter is released into the peritoneal space. The body's immune responses draw many white blood cells to the area to remove this material. Since there is such a large amount of bacteria to remove, many of the white cells are overwhelmed by the amount of debris that they ingest.