Friday, February 20, 2009

Precautions in the Venipuncture Procedure

Venipuncture is a procedure that involves the extraction of blood from a vein making use of a syringe and a needle. This is done when the doctor wants to determine the levels of certain substances in blood to arrive at a correct diganosis.

It is an invasive procedure but the pain is tolerable when done by an expert. The most common site of puncture is the ante-cubital fossa which is composed of three veins, the cubital, basilic and the median cephalic. Blood extraction could be performed in veins that meet the criteria.

Here are some precautions to remember when performing venipuncture:

1. Be sure to identify the patient correctly. The reliability of results does not only concern the performance of the test but all processes involved with the test. This starts with patient identification. Ask the patient to state his name or to write it down. Make sure you got all your data entries correct including the complete name of the patient. There are people who have similar names so obtaining the middle name would be useful to solve such problems.

2. Know the tests required before commencing with the venipuncture as this would determine the type of blood specimen to collect and the manner of collection. i.e. anaerobic, for blood gas analysis (BGA), etc.

3. The site to be punctured should be free from hematoma and edema.

4. Proper sterilization procedures should be done before puncturing the vein, preferably a circular motion starting from the site of puncture going outwards. This is to minimize contamination of the site of puncture.

5. Do not puncture in the same vein that an IV fluid is inserted as the components of the IV fluid would contaminate your specimen. If you don't have any alternative, then collect your sample below the IV fluid.

6. Check that your syringe is not clogged by pulling and pushing the plunger. If it operates smoothly, then it could be used. Check also your needle of any factory defect. Do not; however, open the pack, not until you're ready to puncture as this may lead to contamination.