Venepuncture and phlebotomy: animated demonstration
How to take a venous blood sample from the antecubital fossa using a vacuum needle.
Tourniquet (ideally disposable)
Cotton wool/gauze swabs
Vacutainer barrel, or syringe
Green 21-gauge or blue 23-gauge needle, or vacutainer needle
Sample bottles including blood culture specimen bottles if required
If the lucid and coherent patient refuses blood tests, do not perform venepuncture.
Other contraindications to venepuncture include:
Ipsilateral arteriovenous fistula or arteriovenous malformation
Ipsilateral axillary surgery or radiotherapy
Local infection or cellulitis
Severe bleeding tendency or coagulopathy.
In general, you can use blood tests to:
Diagnose conditions (together with the clinical history and exam findings)
Monitor responses to therapy and adverse effects with treatment
Monitor patients in the perioperative period
Screen for diseases
Monitor for recurrence of disease.
Temporary pain and discomfort
Bruising, bleeding, and formation of a hematoma
Failure to obtain an adequate sample.
Press on the puncture site for a sufficient amount of time to stop bleeding. Apply a sticking plaster or cotton wool and tape to the puncture site.
Carefully label all samples and request forms and dispose of all sharps and other items in a sharps bin or clinical waste bin.