Patients Who Lose Consciousness
Those who draw blood specimens must constantly be aware of the signs and
symptoms of an impending loss of consciousness and be prepared to react.
Signs can include pallor, perspiration, hyperventilation and/or anxiety. A
proper response to such signs is key to protecting the patient from falling
and the injuries that can result. However, collectors can prevent an injury
before it happens if they take the following precautions:
- make sure that all outpatients are drawn from
chairs with arm rests that can stop a fainting patient from falling to the
- inpatients should be drawn while recumbent or sitting in arm chairs. When patients state that they have a tendency to pass
out during a blood draw, it is best to draw them while they are in a
- never turn your back on a patient after you have
completed the draw. Many patients give no warning before passing out.
- should a patient become dizzy or lose consciousness during a collection,
release the tourniquet and remove the needle at once. Presence of mind must
be maintained so that you don't sustain an accidental needlestick in the
- if the patient loses consciousness, support him/her from falling to
the floor and summon assistance. Lower the patient's head below the level
of the heart to facilitate blood flow to the brain. This can also be
accomplished by carefully, and with assistance, lowering the patient's head
between the knees
or by lowering the patient to the floor, being careful not to allow the
patient to fall and sustain an injury.
- avoid the use of ammonia inhalants.
Patients who are asthmatic may develop respiratory distress as a result.
Collection Safety: Gloves
Do you ever draw blood without wearing
gloves? OSHA insists on glove use for phlebotomy. You should, too. Gloves
do not prevent needle penetration, but they will protect you from blood
exposure to chapped
or non-intact skin. Sure they deaden the sensitivity of your fingers, but
you can locate the vein prior to gloving. If the vein is palpable but not
visible, take note of its location in relation to creases on the skin,
freckles, or other skin markers that can serve as guideposts. By so doing,
you become less reliant on feeling for the vein after your gloves are on.
This Month in Phlebotomy
Need more than Phlebotomy Today-STAT!? Our flagship newsletter, Phlebotomy Today, is currently in
its 8th year of publication. Here's what subscribers are reading about this month:
- Feature Article: Blood Culture Collection, Part I
- Sidebar: Blood Cultures: Protecting the Collector
- Ask the Safety Lady: OSHA consultant addresses these burning questions:
- Are labs required to designate a sink for handwashing
only or can it double for other lab uses?
- Our jackets for the phlebotomy team are embroidered
with the employee's name and look very professional. Our safety officer says they are
not compliant. Is this correct?
- What types of shoes should I wear in the lab?
- Phlebotomy in the News: a round-up of articles on phlebotomy and phlebotomists who made
Internet headlines in December including these stories:
- Lab Manager
Recognized for High Phlebotomy Standards;
- Polycythemia Outbreak Investigated;
- Phlebotomist Perishes in Fire
- According to the Standards: What the CLSI standards say
about using cotton versus gauze for post-venipuncture care.
- Tip of the Month: The Last Line of Defense
- CEU Questions for managers and educators
to use the January issue as an in-house continuing education tool. (Institutional subscribers only.)
- On a Personal Note: A funny thing happened on the way
to naming the new members-only section of phlebotomy.com.
rates and to subscribe to Phlebotomy
Today, visit www.phlebotomy.com/PhlebotomyToday.html.
The current month's issue will be emailed to you immediately upon
"Symposium for Clinical Laboratories: An
Interactive Experience in Quality Systems" will be conducted May 2-5, 2007 at the Hilton
San Diego Resort on Mission Bay in San
Diego, California. Features of the symposium jointly sponsored by
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health and COLA includes:
sessions on successfully implementing quality systems in your
laboratory using proven tools and techniques;
- Breakout sessions
on preparing preparing for laboratory inspections, systemizing regulatory
complaince, hiring and retaining laboratory personnel, and using quality
tools to maximize revenue and profits;
- CE to meet
state requirements for continuing education for clinical laboratory testing
- CME to meet
CLIA regulations to qualify as laboratory director of a moderate complexity
with displays of laboratory instruments, supplies, and services Internationally recognized experts giving
presentations on implementing quality systems in the laboratory include:
- Dennis Ernst,
- Judy Yost,
- William Greg
Cooper, CLS, MHA
- Lucia M.
Berte, MA, MT(ASCP) SBB, DLM; CQA(ASQ) CMQ
For Sympoisum registration or
additional information go to www.cola.org. For questions concerning this event, please
contact Symposium Operations Director Tricia Hudson at 800-981-9883, ext
Each month, PT--STAT! will publish one of the hundreds of
phlebotomy FAQs in the growing database of questions and answers available
in Phlebotomy Central, the members-only section of the Center for
Phlebotomy Education's web site. For information on joining Phlebotomy
Central, visit www.phlebotomy.com/PhlebotomyCentral.html.
Question: I suspect some of our staff are not very skilled at
drawing based on the frequency of their patients who require recollecting and the extent of the bruising they leave behind. Is
there anything out there that
suggests what the average number of recollects are per phlebotomist?
Response: A Q-Probe published in 1991 examined patient
satisfaction and complications among 30,000 patients (80% survey return
rate).(1) The survey gathered data on the size (average: 15.1mm) and
frequency (16.1%) of bruising and the number of attempts by phlebotomists
per patient (1.03). Ninety-three percent of venipunctures were eventually
successful. (4.9% not attempted). But it doesn't state how many attempts
were made before they were successful.
A CAP Q-Probe conducted in 1992 addressed the level of recollects at 70
hospitals. 95% were collected on first attempt; 2.8% required two attempts;
0.8% required three attempts and 1.1% required four or more sticks.
Unfortunately, this data is a bit dated. I haven't seen any more recent
(References available in Phlebotomy Central)
For information on joining Phlebotomy
Central or access to hundreds more FAQs, visit www.phlebotomy.com/PhlebotomyCentral.html.
Featured Product: Archives CD
Ever since the first issue of Phlebotomy Today was published
online in February 2000, thousands of healthcare professionals around the
world have been clamoring for archives. This month, the Center for
Phlebotomy Education releases them on CD.
Seven years of back issues will be included on the disk, 81 issues in
all, for $49.95. The CD will be searchable by keyword or by individual
issue, simplifying the location of articles on specific topics. Avid
readers will be pleased to know the CD includes all of the editor's
"On a Personal Note" essays.
archives are in printer-friendly PDF format and will require
Adobe Acrobat 7.0 to view and print. A link to Acrobat is provided on the
CD. Although each issue includes the "Tip of the Month", the
printer-friendly version is not included. (The Center is compiling 70+
tips, attractively designed and printed for selective posting and shipped
with a durable acrylic frame. The Tip of the Month collection will be
offered in early 2007.)
For more information on the archives CD, visit www.phlebotomy.com/Products.html.
PT STAT! is a free, monthly newsletter
provided by the Center for Phlebotomy Education, Inc., the world's most respected
authority in blood specimen collection procedures. For a complete company profile and product list for
all healthcare professionals who perform, teach or manage specimen collection
procedures, visit us on the Internet at: http://www.phlebotomy.com.
Do not respond to this email. Responding to the email address from
which this newsletter is sent will result in the deletion of your address
from our mailing list. If you would like to send an email to the editor, send
it to firstname.lastname@example.org
For images to appear, you must be logged on to the Internet.
Having a problem with reading or receiving the newsletter? Your
satisfaction is important to us. Let us know by sending an email to email@example.com
Interested in forwarding or reprinting content from PT STAT! ?
Read our copyright policy at
unsubscribe information:This email is sent to you because you have completed our online
subscription form. If you would like to be removed from this list and no
longer receive PT STAT!, click
here to unsubscribe. You may also unsubscribe by sending a request via
postal mail. Please include your name, e-mail address and a printed copy of
your PT STAT issue. Send to:
c/o Center for Phlebotomy Education, Inc.
P.O. Box 161
Ramsey, IN 47166
Copyright 2007, Center for Phlebotomy Education, Inc. All
rights reserved. Newsletters may contain links to sites on the Internet owned
and operated by third parties. The Center for Phlebotomy Education, Inc. is
not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or
through, any such third-party site. Information in this document is provided
"as is," without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied,
including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability,
fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. The user
assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. We
will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this
information, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental,
punitive, and consequential damages.