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Phlebotomy Guide

Phlebotomy Guide

Phlebotomy Don't's

  • Don't Take equipment into isolation rooms that you will need to bring out again e.g. Sharps containers (these should be available in the isolation room).
  • Don't re-sheath needles; discard immediately at point of use into sharps bin.
  • Do not reuse a needle, ever, even on same patient.
  • Don't label bottles before taking blood.
  • Never decant blood from one bottle to another.
  • Don't use a needle and syringe to collect blood unless there is good reason to do so. This will require transfer of blood from the syringe into a "Vacutainer" tube. Don't inject the blood through the rubber septum (health & safety risk and risk of haemolysis). Remove needle from syringe (!) directly to sharps bin, remove "Vacutainer" tube cap and gently fill the tubes one at a time. Replace the "Vacutainer" cap firmly. Vacutainer tubes filled in this way must NOT be sent via the air tube system as the caps have a tendency to come off.
  • Don't be frightened to admit defeat some patients are very difficult to bleed - and pass the blood collection need back to medical staff.
  • Don't attempt venepuncture more than 3 times (refer on to more experienced phlebotomist or medic after fewer attempts if you are sure you will not succeed in 3 attempts.
  • Don't use arterial lines to take blood. Care should also be taken not to disturb electrical connections attached to patients and monitors.
  • Don't attempt to bleed patients from an arm with a drip set up. If patients have drips in both arms, inform ward staff. Don't attempt to bleed until drip has been stopped for at least 30 minutes.
  • Don't attempt to bleed babies or children less than 16 years old. A paediatric phlebotomist is employed specifically for this purpose and patients should be referred to the paediatric dept where they may have to make an appointment

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