Blood collection is the first step for the testing process in a laboratory.

Availability of the most crucial information for diagnosis and analysis during the course of treatment is made possible by venipuncture and similar procedures.

As venous blood is a better guide of the physiological conditions of the body, venipuncture is the preferred method of blood collection over other methods.

Venipuncture should be carried out keeping in mind the following important points.

1. Test report form

  • A properly filled test requisition form is the first important step of blood sample analysis.
  • It contains the patient identification and test detail information. 
  • It acts as a link between the physician and the laboratory. It significantly affects the laboratory outcomes and ultimately patient safety.
  • Collecting a sample from an incorrectly identified patient can lead to serious consequences such as misdiagnosis.

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2. Patient preparation

  • The next important step is preparing the patient. 
  • It also includes taking the patient’s consent before starting the venipuncture.
  • Putting the patient at ease helps in successful sample collection.

3. Patient safety

  • Make sure you are aware of the health status/condition of the patient. 
  • It is also important for you to be aware of any known allergies or phobias of the patient.

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4. Sanitation and sterilization

  • The next point of prime importance is to not let any infection spread during venipuncture. 
  • All safety and sterilization protocols should be followed strictly. 
  • Hand sanitization should be performed in view of the patient. It is an important step in the venipuncture procedure. 
  • The site of venipuncture once cleaned with antiseptic should not be touched by bare hands thereafter.
  • All equipment like collection tubes and needles should be checked before use.

5. Patient positioning and tourniquet application

  • Positioning the patient correctly and applying the tourniquet are the next important steps to be followed in venipuncture. 
  • Most samples are drawn with the patient sitting up, while many patients prefer reclining chairs. 
  • If a patient is known to have vasovagal (when a patient faints in a stressful situation), then the lying down position should be preferred for sample collection. 
  • It is important to check that the hand is at a lower level than the arm during venipuncture.
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6. Performing venipuncture

  • A flash of blood in the hub of the syringe indicates successful entry into the vein.
  • Blood is collected by slowly pulling the plunger. 
  • At this point, the tied tourniquet should be released.

7. Hematoma formation prevention

  • The needle should be retrieved smoothly and pressure should be applied at the site of collection only after the needle has been withdrawn. 
  • This helps prevent hematoma formation.

8. Careful waste disposal

  • It is very important to ensure that all the sharps and other contaminated materials are properly discarded in specified containers or biohazard containers. 
  • Hands and the procedure area should be sanitized after waste disposal.

9. Care while transportation

  • Transport of specimens, if required, should be done timely and properly.
  • Samples should be transported in sealed leak-proof bags/containers.

All these kept in mind lay the foundation of an effective venipuncture procedure. 

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