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What's Wrong Here?

Can you identify the flaw in this picture?

by Dennis Ernst • June 07, 2019


adding blood to culture bottle

This month's image depicts a blood culture bottle being filled directly from a syringe. The practice of filling any tube or blood culture bottle with the same needle used to perform the puncture is unsafe and against OSHA guidelines. Even if the tube or bottle is pierced while upright in a rack and the other hand safely out of harm's way, the other hand will ultimately enter back into the danger zone to hold the tube or bottle when the needle has to be pulled from the stopper. The old procedure of changing the needle before puncturing the stopper is not acceptable and does not reduce your risk of an accidental needlestick by a contaminated needle, yet that procedure is still in use at some facilities. To be compliant with OSHA guidelines, make sure nobody at your facility is still performing bottle inoculation in this fashion.

 Instead, the safety feature of the needle should be activated, the needle removed and discarded, and a safety transfer device attached to the syringe. Tubes and bottles can then be safely filled without risking an accidental needlestick.  

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blood culture blood draw syringe

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