Study Evaluates Effect of Sterile Gloving on Blood Culture Contamination Rates
A study conducted by the Seoul National University College of Medicine located in Seoul, Korea concludes that sterile gloving before venipuncture may reduce blood culture contamination. Sixty-four interns in charge of blood culture collections at a single medical center participated in the study, drawing a total of 1,854 patients in the facility’s medical wards and intensive care unit.
The interns were randomly assigned to perform blood culture collections, some donning sterile gloves before every venipuncture, while others were given the option of wearing sterile gloves only when necessary. A total of 10,520 blood cultures were analyzed: 5,265 were collected with mandatory use of sterile gloves and 5,255 were drawn with optional use of sterile gloves. The samples for which sterile gloving was mandatory, the contamination rate was 0.6%, as opposed to a 1.1% contamination rate when sterile gloves were not required.
Center Seeks Input on Foreign-Language Videos
Through March 15, 2011 the Center for Phlebotomy Education is conducting a survey to determine current demand for Spanish and French versions of our popular phlebotomy training videos. If your facility has a need for translated Applied Phlebotomy videos, now is your opportunity to let us know.
Ernst Featured in Executive Snapshot
Ever wondered how the Center for Phlebotomy Education came into existence? Dennis J. Ernst, Director, shares his story in the February 2011 issue of Medical Laboratory Observer. Ernst describes life events that led to the creation of his company and how the Center continues to fulfill its mission in MLO’s Executive Snapshot column.
This Month in Phlebotomy Today
Here’s what subscribers to Phlebotomy Today, the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s paid-subscription newsletter currently in its 12th year of publication, are reading about this month:
For subscription rates and to subscribe to Phlebotomy Today, click here. The current month’s issue will be emailed to you immediately upon subscribing.
Q: Do you have specific tips for locating veins in obese patients? One of our employees sticks obese patients with the patient’s elbow bent. I can see bending it slightly while palpating for a vein, but I wouldn't stick a patient with their elbow bent. Would you?
A: Relaxing the joint slightly is acceptable, but only slightly. Bending the elbow can be taught as a possible means of locating vein that can't be found when the elbow is locked, but the technique is not unique to obese patients. Even normal-weight patients can have veins that only appear, visibly or palpably, when the elbow is slightly bent. It’s not necessary for the elbow to be completely locked so that the arm is rigidly straight.
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 website. For information on joining Phlebotomy Central, click here.
Last month, visitors to our website were asked about their facility’s use of papoose boards for restraining infants and toddlers during blood collection procedures, and if they give apprehensive parents the option to leave the collection area while their child is being drawn.
Over three-fourths (78.8%) of survey participants indicated that they never use papoose boards, 18.2 percent use the restraint device only when necessary, with 3.0 percent of respondents stating that papoose boards are always used.
In regard to dismissing apprehensive parents during pediatric collections, 84.8 percent of those surveyed indicated that they give parents the option to leave the collection area, while 15.2 percent said they do not.
This month’s survey question:
What Should We Do?
[Editor’s Note: "What Should We Do?" gives you the opportunity to ask our team of technical experts for advice on your most pressing phlebotomy challenges. Whether technical or management in nature, we'll carefully consider solutions and suggestions based on the industry's best practices so that you and those in other facilities with the same problem can benefit, all the while maintaining your facility's anonymity. What Should We Do? is your opportunity to ask us for suggestions on the best way to handle your real-life dilemmas.]
Our response: While well intentioned, drawing from such unorthodox sites is not supported in the CLSI venipuncture standard (H3-A6) and should be prohibited as it may be construed as operating outside the standard of care for phlebotomy. Should the patient suffer an injury or complications from this draw and pursue litigation, your phlebotomist, and by extension your facility, would have to defend a choice that is without support in the literature.
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