Punctured Information and Courses from MediaLab, Inc.
These are the MediaLab courses that cover Punctured and links to relevant pages within the course.
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Notice the wide variety of bacterial types that are present in this smear. This variety reflects the diversity of organisms that make up normal bowel flora.When the bowel is torn or punctured, an incredibly large amount of bacteria and foreign matter is released into the peritoneal space. The body's immune responses draw many white blood cells to the area to remove this material. Since there is such a large amount of bacteria to remove, many of the white cells are overwhelmed by the amount of debris that they ingest.
|Oh No...The Blood Has Stopped Flowing|
On occasion, blood may stop flowing from the punctured site before the required amount of blood is obtained. When this happens, it is not recommended to squeeze harder. This only serves to cut off the supply of blood to the capillary bed. Additionally, squeezing with too much force, especially on the heel of an infant, may cause injury to the patient. The phlebotomist should never scrape the skin with the collection device in an attempt to scoop up the blood that is laying on the surface of the finger or heel. This could cause the blood specimen to hemolyze, making the specimen unacceptable for some laboratory tests. Always allow the drop to flow freely into the collection tube.If a clot has formed, an attempt could be made to dislodge it and re-establish blood flow by wiping the puncture site again with a new alcohol pad, massaging the finger or heel gently, and attempting to recollect the specimen once the alcohol has dried. If blood is not flowing freely from the initial puncture, it may be necessary to perform a second puncture to obtain enough blood for the testing required. If a second puncture must be performed, do not repuncture the same site.
|Inappropriate Sites/Patients for Capillary Puncture|
There are some instances where a dermal puncture is prohibited or not recommended.Mastectomy patientsAs a general rule, a dermal puncture, or a venipuncture, should not be performed on the side affected by a mastectomy. The body's ability to fight infection is compromised if lymph nodes were removed. A physician's permission must be obtained before performing a blood collection procedure on the same side as a mastectomy. Edematous siteDermal punctures should not be performed on previously punctured sites or swollen sites. Excess tissue fluid may contaminate the specimen.Dehydrated patientIf the patient is dehydrated or has poor circulation, it may be impossible to get a quality specimen. Fingerstick on a newborn or young infant Dermal punctures must never be performed on the fingers of a newborn or very young infant (usually defined as under 12-months-old). There is very little distance between the skin and the bone. Therefore, the bone could be easily pierced during the puncture, causing injury to the bone, infection, or gangrene.
In some institutions, the phlebotomist is responsible for collecting specimens that will be directly tested to yield results for hematology studies.Blood Smear FilmsIf it is the practice of the institution, the phlebotomist may make a blood film slide directly from the blood flowing at a dermal puncture site. In this case, a drop of blood is allowed to fall directly onto the glass slide. The image below illustrates the approximate size of the drop that should be used.Using a second glass slide, the phlebotomist should spread the blood by first aligning the edge of the spreader slide in front of the drop of blood, pulling back into the drop so that it is evenly distributed behind the spreader slide as shown in the image below. Then spread the blood forward, maintaining an angle of approximately 20° between the slides. The finished slide should be at least 2.5 cm in length, there should be a gradual transition in thickness from thick to thin, ending in a feather edge. The blood smear should be made at the beginning of the dermal puncture procedure to avoid formation of microclots. Remember that the glass slides used to make the blood smear are considered sharps and can cause accidental puncture injury to both the patient and the phlebotomist. Dispose of the spreader slide in a sharps container. Also, until the smear is stained or fixed, the blood film is considered potentially infectious so bloodborne pathogen precautions must be followed.Microhematocrit collectionIn some institutions, capillary blood specimens are collected directly into heparinized capillary tubes, which are then analyzed to determine packed cell volume. These results can be used to indicate the presence of anemia. At least two capillary tubes should be filled for microhematocrit testing. The capillary tubes should be filled with blood to about two- thirds the length of the tube. One end of each tube should then be sealed to prevent blood from escaping. The sealant may be sealing clay or commercially-provided covers that are made specifically for the microhematocrit system that is in use. Capillary tubes should be plastic or mylar-wrapped glass tubes. Plain glass capillary tubes should not be used to prevent the possible transmission of bloodborne pathogens if the tube broke and punctured through the glove and skin of the phlebotomist.It is imperative that the specimens are labeled appropriately with patient information. This can be accomplished by inserting the capillary tubes into a second larger blood collection tube that is labeled with the patient name and second identifier, such as hospital or medical record number and capping the large tube. Taping the capillary tubes individually to a paper requisition with the patient information is an alternate method.
|Tips for Successful Venipuncture When Using Hand Veins|
Hand position: It is best practice to position the patient's hand slightly downward with the top of the hand facing the phlebotomist. The fingers of the patient's hand should be rolled underneath and wrapped around the fingers of the phlebotomist's "anchoring" hand forming a loose fist. The phlebotomist should use his or her thumb to pull back gently on the surface of the skin, making the skin taut. The vein should be anchored adequately to proceed with venipuncture. The phlebotomist may have the patient roll his/her fingers over a pillow or a rolled up washcloth to make the hand vein more prominent.Tourniquet Position: The tourniquet should always be applied 3 - 4 inches above the needle insertion point. Therefore, when assessing for a usable vein in a hand, apply the tourniquet 1 - 2 inches above the wrist. If the tourniquet is on longer than one minute, release and reapply prior to venipuncture to avoid hemoconcentration.Cautions: Choose a straight section of the hand vein-- avoid the "intersection" or "V" where a vein branches into another vein. This juncture may contain a valve and could be damaged if punctured. Only use the top of a hand or thumb-side of the wrist for puncture. Avoid the fingers or the underside of the wrist. This will prevent the inadvertent puncture of hidden arteries, tendons or nerves in the area.
|Clean Up Your Act|
During a blood collection, bacteria that is present on the skin surface may adhere to the outside of the needle as it enters into the vein. This can allow bacteria to infect the puncture site. A serious infection of the blood (septicemia) or of the tissue (cellulitis) may result. To avoid an infection, it is imperative that the phlebotomist uses a technique that thoroughly cleanses the skin at the site prior to venipuncture.Once the phlebotomist locates a suitable vein for venipuncture, the site of the vein that will be punctured is cleaned with a pre-packaged wipe saturated with 70% isopropyl alcohol.The site is cleansed using a "target" motion beginning at the center of the site and moving outward in concentric circles applying enough pressure to move surface bacteria away from the puncture point. (This is demonstrated in the image on the right). It is not recommended to use a scrubbing back and forth motion to clean the site since you may drag bacteria from a dirty area back into the clean area. Allow alcohol to air dry for effective disinfection of the site. Never use non-sterile gauze to wipe dry the alcohol as this will contaminate the site.During the remainder of the procedure, the site must NOT be touched by anything that has not been cleaned in an identical manner. The phlebotomist should avoid retouching the site after cleaning. If it is absolutely necessary to re-palpate, the phlebotomist MUST clean the gloved finger in a manner identical to the above procedure. Make certain that no other piece of equipment touches the site. This includes ends of the tourniquet and gauze. If you suspect that your needle has touched the site before entry, dispose of the needle, re-clean the site and repeat the procedure using a new needle. If a patient complains that there is redness or pain at the puncture site, even hours or days after the procedure, immediately refer the patient to his/her physician for evaluation.