The Process of Drawing Blood (Venipuncture)
The Process of Drawing Blood (Venipuncture)
Venipuncture refers to the process of drawing blood from individual using different types of needles. Some steps are involved in the process. Those carrying out venipuncture need to understand and appreciate the required materials, put safety measures in place, and perform the procedure accordingly. It is easier to understand the process of drawing blood especially when the individuals concerned pay attention to the details involved. The initial step in venipuncture involves identification of the essential materials. For its success, the process requires safety needles or butterfly needles. The safety needles need to exceed 22g. On the other hand, butterfly needles need to be 21g or less. The process also requires a syringe, blood collection tubes with the vacuum designed to draw a pre-determined amount of blood. The tubes are essential for collecting blood samples for particular tests.
Venipuncture also requires latex-free tourniquets, antiseptic, 2×2 gauze or cotton balls, bandages, and a disposal container. The container should be an OSHA accepted and puncture proof in nature. After clearly identifying the materials, it is mandatory that the individuals concerned observe universal safety precautions. The precautions encompass all applicable isolation procedures. First, individuals performing venipuncture need to wear their PPE (personal protective equipment) all through the procedure. In addition, before performing venipuncture, it is advisable for the individuals to wash their hands with warm running water. This should also entail using chlorhexidine gluconate for washing hands. The chlorhexidine gluconate used should the Infection Control Committee approval. Individuals should also ensure that they wear gloves during phlebotomies and constantly change them with a change of patients for venipuncture.
Phlebotomist needs to wear their lab coat while performing the venipuncture procedures, ensure that needles are single used and disposed appropriately. Similarly, phlebotomists need to discard their gloves as well as other items used in the venipuncture properly immediately after the procedure. 10% bleach solution plays a vital role in the cleanup of contaminated surfaces after venipuncture procedure that is highlighted below. The venipuncture procedure necessitates systematic actions. This means that the phlebotomists need to consider keenly the steps for efficacy and good result. For instance, the procedure begins by identification of the patient. At this point, outpatients come into the phlebotomy area for their personal details to be taken and ensure that the information retrieved matches requisition. For the sake of inpatients, their identity follows their armband.
At the start of the procedure, the patient is made aware of the minimum quantity of blood being from them, after which the phlebotomist assembles the necessary equipment about the patient’s physical characteristics. The actual venipuncture procedure, therefore, begins as described below. The phlebotomist washes their hands and wears gloves, puts the patient in their appropriate position. This means that the patient stretches out their arm extending it straight from shoulder to their wrist. The phlebotomist identifies the suitable vein for the procedure, and not an artery. The phlebotomist needs to be very keen and consider several factors, including extensive soaring or healed burn or hematoma areas evasion. The phlebotomist applies tourniquet 3-4 inches on the venipuncture site. It is also used for preliminary vein assortment.
The actual venipuncture steps involve attaching a suitable needle to the hub, and removing the plastic cover needle while holding the bevel up. The next step is to pull the patient’s skin, tight with index or thump finger below the puncture site. At this point, the phlebotomist is required to hold the needle at the level of the vein and makes a quick thrust enter the vein in a smooth motion. During the thrust time, phlebotomist ensures that they securely hold the hub and interleave the first vacutainer tube to allow the flow of blood following an appropriate order. This lets the blood flow into evacuated tube upon which the phlebotomist releases the tourniquet and allows the patient to open their hand. The phlebotomist removes the tube at the stop of blood flow in the correct order, especially when multiple tubes are utilized. The correct order tube removal helps to avoid erroneous results as well as cross contamination.
The following are multiple tubes identities; blood culture bottle bottles are sterile tubes, coagulation tubes have light blue tops, heparin tubes have green tops, serum tube is red or golden in color, EDTA tubes have lavender tops while glycolytic inhibitor has a gray top. Venipuncture procedure calls for keenness about their handling. Phlebotomists should consider the appropriate ways of shaking and inverting the abovementioned tubes after their removal from the hub. For instance, coagulation tube should be softly inverted for the time, the red ones five times while the rest of the tubes should be lightly inverted eight to ten times. While using the syringe, venipuncture calls for the aforementioned procedure, but employing a swift but moderate force to pierce the patient’s skin in one motion, drawing blood as desired by pulling the syringe stopper, releasing the tourniquet, placing gauze pad or sterile cotton wool over the puncture and a quick removal of the needle with an immediate application of pressure. The procedure also works best in children especially when they are old enough. However, it is worth considering provisions for blood draw minimization.
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