Introduction. Sources of blood suitable for collection outlined, such as from vein, heal-prick and finger-prick or arterial blood samples. Demonstration of the apparatus involved in the Vacutainer System. Vacutainer needle is in fact two needles moulded together - demonstration of the equipment and how the system works.
The needle the container are reassembled. Demonstration of how the vacationer system would be used to collect blood. Veins in the Antecubital Fossa are generally the best, but veins on the dorsum of the hand can be used. Demonstration of blood being taken using the Vacutainer system, including the use of a tourniquet, the placement of the arm and its support. Suitable veins discussed. Arm is swabbed with spirit, which must be allowed to dry.
Preparation of the Vacutainer system and how to insert it into the patient's vein. Venepuncture demonstration. Tourniquet released, cotton wool applied to skin whilst needle is removed. Guidelines for checking the patient afterwards.
Advice for the disposal of the needle and the Vacutainer holder if contaminated. Demonstration of the use of the Sharp's box to remove the needle and disposal of the needle holder. The use of gloves and their disposal also discussed. Advice on handling samples to be sent off to the laboratory. Procedures for dealing with high-risk samples discussed. Correct procedure for writing up details on samples after blood has been taken.
Guidelines for assembling forms, samples and identifying the patient. Importance of the correct identification of the patient is emphasised. Local requirements for dealing with high-risk samples should be followed, and how such samples can be easily identified. Dealing with urgent requests using the pneumatic vacuum systems (for delivery of bags containing sample and form to the laboratory).
Different coloured tubes used for collecting blood samples at St. George's Hospital explained (can vary but most hospitals follow similar colour code system for different tests). Every ward has a colour-coded chart. Reminder of the importance in identifying the patient before taking blood.