Quality Blood Samples

For many years now there has been an ongoing debate about the best and safest equipment for getting a quality blood sample.

There is a plethora of research supports a number of these items as being significantly safer for the patient and collector, whilst producing better quality samples.

However, whilst many innovations in safety equipment have been launched onto the market, it seems the old methods are still widely used in the industry today.

This discussion invites your comments on the following:

  • Should the wearing of gloves be compulsory for the collection of blood samples
  • What equipment do you use for blood collection and why?

For Managers:

How do you select what equipment you or your organisation use? Is it a cost issue? What role does safety play in the decision?

On September 13, 2010, posted in: Discussion by
3 Responses to Quality Blood Samples
  1. Safety within blood collection is utmost. We are very luckily to have great safety products at our disposal and also the training to use them correctly.We are also very lucky to have “old” collectors that are not only fast but accurate with their collections, even if they use needle and syringe.They have learnt to use needle and syringe safely and its great to have a range of equipment to suit different styles and needs. As far as blood collection goes it is important to accept the old methods, that still have a place,and also embrace new techniques and methods.The industry is big enough for both styles the important issues are to use equipment safely and respectfully.

    The glove issue to address is to access a glove that is suitable to the requirements we need as blood collectors. Sensitivity is the reason given by my staff that a glove is not worn for the entire collection. Latex free gloves that are suitable for blood collection have been difficult to come across. I believe before glove compliance can be a reality we need gloves suitable to our precision skill needs.

  2. I think in many cases it is a budget decision rather than not wanting to use it. Currently safety equipment is still somewhat more expensive that ‘regular’ equipment. However there are some recognised more hazardous practices that are still be used out there in the phlebotomy arena- one in particular is the use of needle and syringe for routine collections. There are a number of collection companies (including some of the larger ones) that have made a stance and withdrawn the use of needle and syringe altogether and I applaud them for this. Their staff do not seem to have any trouble getting blood from patients- even the ‘difficult’ ones. It is hard as many of the ‘old’ collectors will not give up their use. But wouldn’t it be great if we all made an attempt to do this!

    As for gloves- I think they should be compulsory. There is plenty of research to show that even if you do have a NSI- your have reduced your exposure. I think there are even legal requirements in some states (e.g. NSW) for them to be worn.
    APaN should look at making standards for these issues within the industry. Good Luck!

    • I agree with RomyC that budget is an issue when it comes to implementation of safety equipment. In the absence of legislation, such as we see in the US, healthcare instituions have to be convinced of the benefits of the use of safety devices. Whilst Western Europe is moving towards legislation to mandate the use of safey devices, we are still some way from this in Australia and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region. There is however quite a lot of literature to show that safety devices can be effecrtive in reducin g the incidenc eof nedlestick injuries. I will contact Rosemeary Cooper separately to see if it may be possible to post a summary of these publications on the APaN website.

      Regarding gloves, I think the big issue is compliance. Even when healthcare institutions make the use of gloves compulsory, many healthcare workers do not comply, citing ‘inconvenience’ and ‘inefficiciency’ as reasons not to wear gloves. Education aimed at raising awareness of the consequences of NSI is the key, in my opinion. Again, I will contact Rosemary Cooper to see if it may be possible to post some case studies on the APaN website.

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