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Did You Know...?

Here's a litany of statistics about phlebotomy most healthcare professionals who draw blood aren't aware of.

by Dennis Ernst • January 19, 2022


Did You Know sign
  • 61% of all accidental needlesticks sustained during phlebotomy procedures occur within seconds of when the needle is removed from the patient's arm? (CDC)
  • laboratorians do not report up to 92% of the accidental needlesticks they sustain? (source)
  • 93.2% of all venipunctures are successful on the first attempt?
  • two out of five nurses surveyed wouldn't recommend their health care facility to a family member?
  • 35% of patients feel more discomfort during a venipuncture than they expected?
  • as many as 10 different healthcare workers are involved in the complex process of transfusing blood? 
  • a study found 55% of all ED patients at one UK hospital were without identification bands?
  • an armband attached to the bedrail identifies the bedrail, not the patient?
  • punctures on the fingers should be done across the fingerprint, not parallel to them? (CLSI)
  • potassium, total protein and calcium levels are lower in skin puncture blood than in venous blood? (CLSI)
  • excessive crying can temporarily elevate white blood cell counts in infants? (CLSI)
  • in one study, 24 of 121 surgeries had to be interrupted due to the patient's reaction to a latex exposure with 14 of those requiring transfer to the intensive care unit?
  • bacteremia involving E. coli can exist in the bloodstream in concentrations as low as one organism per ml of blood? 
  • labs that report erroneous laboratory results from blood specimens that are compromised by poor specimen collection practices set themselves up for claims of negligence?
  • underfilled EDTA tubes yield a falsely lower hematocrit because red cells shrink when blood is excessively anticoagulated?
  • the average phlebotomist commits 3.5 procedural errors per draw?
  • the first evidence that collection tube additives carryover and can corrupt the results obtained in the next tube appeared in the literature in 1977?
  • in most states, you need a license to cut someone's hair or raise pigs, but not if you want to sink a needle into their vein to draw blood?
  • when citrate tubes for protimes are refrigerated before testing, cold activation of Factor VII can lead to shortened protime results? (CLSI)?
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 Bloggers Note: for more tasty tidbits, consider getting a copy of The Lab Draw Answer Book. It's like having Dennis's brain on your desk, only without the formaldehyde. 

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Tasty tidbits indeed!

These are fascinating facts! My eyebrows kept rising through the entire list! Thanks for the info.

Berte Olsen, 01/25/2022 09:52:53


What are the mistakes that phlebs make?

Blair, 01/25/2022 13:26:30

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