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Patient injuries from a blood draw on the rise.


Patients in Texas and Louisiana were recently injured during a "simple blood draw."

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Dana Martinez took her baby to a Texas Hospital for her two-week newborn screening collection. The baby left with second-degree burns on her heel from the prewarming. The local media reported on the story.

In Louisiana, a patient had her blood drawn at a reference lab and is now suing for a nerve injury she alleges was caused by negligence of the facility in failing to train its employees and failing to safely draw blood. The Louisiana Record reported on the story.

A Louisiana statute requires those who draw blood samples to be certified and licensed. However, it exempts clinical laboratory personnel, those under the direct supervision of a physician, and those for whom phlebotomy procedures are within their scope of practice. In Texas, there are no regulations or minimum training requirements for those who draw blood samples. 

"We are appalled that these kinds of preventable injuries continue to happen," says the Center for Phlebotomy Education's director, Dennis J. Ernst MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT). "For regulators, legislators and medical boards not to demand minimum training requirements for specimen collection personnel after seeing things like this is dereliction of duty."

Only four states have any kind of requirements for healthcare professionals who perform invasive phlebotomy procedures: California, Louisiana, Nevada and Washington.

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