Venipuncture is the procedure of collecting blood from patient's vein for different medical purposes. The venipuncture or blood drawing is one of the best diagnostic tools that are used to establish the general health state of a person, as well as well as to establish the type of therapy a patient should be administered, to reduce the quantity of iron and erythrocytes in the blood and to collect blood from patients who need blood transfusion. In this article, we will present you the techniques and methods of drawing blood, as well as the possible complications that may appear due to venipuncture.
The procedure of venipuncture is really simple and takes only few minutes. However, the procedure is usually a source of great discomfort and stress. The procedure starts by establishing the identity of the patient. Next, the phlebotomist (the medical practitioner performing venipuncture is called phlebotomist) should collect information from the patient whether he/she has followed the nutritional recommendations (in some case patients need to be hungry upon venipuncture). The phlebotomist should also take into consideration the type of blood test that should be performed on the patient. The procedure of blood drawing should be performed in sanitary and sterile conditions. The phlebotomist should always wear gloves and medical coat. The equipment used upon venipuncture (hypodermic needle, plastic hub, vacuum tube or syringe) should be sterile and clean. The phlebotomist may not use the same equipment for more than one patient. The blood drawing is performed by means of palpation of the vein and collecting blood in tubes. The tubes should be labeled adequately, so the identity of the patient is not mistaken. The last step is sending the samples to laboratory examination.
Proper hygiene is one of the main factors of successful and safe venipuncture. The persons performing the venipuncture should always maintain high level of personal hygiene and hygiene of the equipment they use. Phlebotomists should also make regular check of the expiry date of the medical products they use. When you go for a venipuncture, you should always be careful whether your phlebotomist uses new needle and sterilized tubes and hubs. These precautions and recommendations should be followed very strictly in order to avoid any type of infection of cross contamination.
As we already mentioned, the procedure of blood draw is really simple and safe, but as in the case of any other medical procedure, there are chances of infection and cross contamination. The problems that may appear after a venipuncture can include bruising, hematomas, redness, swelling, fever and other less frequent problems. In case of bruising, swelling and hematomas, you should wait for few days and the symptoms will appear. The process of healing can be accelerated by applying anti-inflammatory ointment. However, if you experience fewer and swelling more than few days after you have had a venipuncture, it would be best to consult your doctor. The best way to avoid any type of infections is to maintain high level of personal hygiene (this applies for the phlebotomist and all other personnel present on the spot), as well as maintaining high hygiene levels of the equipment used and the objects and the surfaces in the premises.