Blood sampling plays a very significant part of modern medical care. This procedure is done with care and preciseness. Upon blood collection, the doctor will ask the patient to make a fist while firmly drawing the skin taut to anchor the vein where the blood will be collected. Medical personnel will need a clean blood tube, syringe, and needle in order to perform this. Visit Critical Dental, an Australian shop, and purchase your supplies.
Types of Blood Sampling
Collecting blood samples is important in determining, preventing, and treating certain diseases and illnesses. This method can somehow be painful and terrifying to patients who are afraid of needles. Generally speaking, blood collection is simply drawing blood by inserting a needle into a vein.
But there are different ways to draw blood from a patient.
- Fingerstick sampling. The most common way to collect blood nowadays is by pricking the patient’s fingertip and quickly collecting the small amount of blood that comes out of it. This method requires minimal preparation and would only take less than a minute to take place, letting people anxious with needles be calmer and less frightened of the procedure.
- Arterial sampling. This blood collection process usually takes place in a clinical or hospital setting. The blood sample will be used to identify respiratory, metabolic, and acid-base disorders and to monitor carbon dioxide. Although deemed safe, this may cause the patient to feel pain during the procedure. Potential contradictions may also occur in the area where the blood is collected or simply just local infection. This can also potentially increase the risk of bleeding complications in patients with
- Venipuncture sampling. One common method to collect blood is by venipuncture sampling. The technique is to collect blood from the upper limb or also known as the median cubital vein. It is a vein close to the skin without any large nerves located close by. This type of blood sampling is less painful and causes minimal discomfort to the patient, however, medical practitioners believe that this is not the best way to collect blood samples due to storage-related risks and possible contamination of the blood.
- Median cubital- this is a superficial vein of the upper limb. Collecting blood from this vein is quite difficult because it is not visible. The median cubital vein is located in the mid antecubital fossa.
- Cephalic- considered as one of the 2 main veins in the arm, the cephalic vein is known as one of the easiest veins to draw blood from. Located at the thumb side of the antecubital fossa, it gives easy access to the needle and it has minimal nerves around.
- Basilic- can be found at the body side of the antecubital fossa. Basilic vein ascends from the medial part of the forearm and runs from there to communicate with the cephalic vein and median cubital vein.
You might be wondering why do medical professionals need to draw blood from the vein and not from other parts of the body instead? The answer is because blood from the veins can provide accurate information regarding the physiological condition of the body. Also, unlike other body parts, venous blood carries a lower oxygen amount.
Blood Sampling Risks
Blood collection typically leaves no major or intense complications to the body. In fact, risks and problems rarely arise after blood sampling. However, in other cases, dizziness, fainting, nerve injury, laceration, and bruising at the puncture site known as hematoma occurs. Hematoma is a leakage from the veins that leaves a dark blue or blackish mark on a certain area.
According to studies, extreme nervousness causes about 2.5% of patients to pass out during or after the blood collection process. When this happens, the patient is strongly advised to lay down while the procedure takes place. The bruising can be minimized but can not be totally prevented as it will vary on the physiological conditions of the patient. There are some ways to minimize bruising like applying heat on the area and ice therapy, but just like any other bruises, it will eventually heal on its own and the discoloration will fade in time. WHO suggests that small bruises will heal quickly, however, large bruises will take 2 to 3 weeks to fade and disappear.
After your blood is taken, keep the bandage on for at least six hours to avoid infection. Your doctor will require to keep it on for a longer time if you are taking blood-thinning medications.
Process of Blood Collection
The process of blood collection is very efficient in modern medical care. Through it, long and painful processes of diagnosing diseases and determining treatments are usually avoided.
The blood collected from the patient will reveal their overall health condition, infections, and discloses accurate data about the diseases that they are carrying. General health check-ups often involve blood sampling for faster and more logical results.
Here is the step by step process of blood sampling:
- Blood collection. The medical professional will collect blood from the patient. This usually takes place in the hospital environment and is approximately finished within 5 minutes.
- Blood sample labeling. After the blood collection, the physician will label the blood in the tube to identify its owner along with other information about the patient.
- Sending the blood for analysis. This process differs from the usual procedure done in the hospital. Sometimes the physician himself will do the analysis, but other clinics prefer to have a different person to do the task.
- Blood analysis. After the laboratory receives the well stored and sealed blood, blood sample centrifugation will take place. Usually, a machine will analyze the blood to avoid human errors, but still with the supervision of laboratory personnel.
- Transferring of results. The complete blood analysis will then be submitted to the patient’s doctor for medical reading.
Blood tests show if the level of various substances present in the blood is still in the normal range. The normal range varies on the patient’s age, gender, and other factors. If your blood results show that some of your blood substances are too low or too high above the range, this could be an early sign of a disorder or disease. Your doctor will explain this to you and may suggest further examinations.
Storing blood samples can be a critical process as the collected blood should not be at room temperature for more than 8 hours, it should be stored at +2°C to +8°C for a maximum of 7 days.
Proper blood tubes are also a necessity to avoid contaminating the blood sample. Blood contamination usually occurs when the blood tube is not drawn in the correct order or if the used syringe comes into contact with an anticoagulant.
Collected blood help doctors to check and verify diseases that you potentially carry. Blood tests can also help in checking the functions of the organs and if the treatments you are receiving are actually working well for you.
Some of the diseases that blood tests can confirm are:
- HIV and AIDS
- Heart Diseases
Evaluating if organs like lung, liver, thyroid, and heart are still completely functioning will need blood sampling as well. By doing so, the doctor will be able to figure out if you are at risk of heart diseases. This is also one way to determine if your medication is working and it assess if your blood is clotting.
It is great to know that because of modern technology and advanced studies, medical professionals nowadays have easier methods to use to diagnose and treat their patients. Having to wait for a long period of time for your health diagnosis can now be avoided and treatments can take effect as early as the disease is detected. Hence, giving us and the doctors more time to conduct proper medical practices.