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What Is Venepuncture?

Venepuncture is the most used process in medicine, which involves the puncturing of vein, in order to take blood for diagnostic procedures; inject nutrients, medications, chemotherapy, intravenous therapy etc. One can also say that the puncture of a vein for therapeutic or surgical purposes is known as venepuncture.

This speciality requires great skills to draw blood from veins. The procedure is complex, if carried out inaccurately; it may cause life threatening problems. Therefore a following set of rules are followed before puncturing veins, and drawing blood or injecting nutrients. The blood drawn out of the body is either sent to labs for different diagnostic tests or kept safely for future use; mainly transfusion. In some cases, venepuncture is carried out to remove blood due to excessive amount of red blood cells and iron content in the blood flow.

Venepunture is carried out by lab technicians, nurses, and phlebotomists, EMTs, dialysis technicians, paramedics or other nursing staff. They keep the blood sampling safe, labelled and hygienic; making sure that the blood kept for future is transfusion-safe.

How Is It Carried Out?

Blood is always drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of patient’s elbow or the back of the hand. The area is cleansed with antiseptics (germ-killing drug) or alcohol wipes. An elastic band (tourniquet) is wrapped around the upper arm to build pressure in the area where the puncture would be made; vein swells with blood, making the whole procedure more convenient.

The next step involves the actual ‘drawing’ of blood. Firstly, nurses and phlebotomists apply alcohol gel on their hands; wear good disposable gloves so as to avoid contact with patient’s blood if it spills; keeping the patient as well as themselves safe from germs and pathogens. They use surgical syringes which contain a hygienic needle at the front; the middle has a plastic air-tight compartment; vial/tube, a plastic piston-like thing is attached to this structure, completing the whole body of a surgical syringe. Technicians gently and accurately insert the needle inside the patient’s flesh; drawing blood inside the air-tight tube by pulling the piston-like structure of the syringe.

When the desired and standardised amount of blood is collected in the tube, the technician draws out the needle, and applies gauze on the puncture. In some cases plaster is also applied. Disposable items are disposed in clinical bins.  Venepuncture is thus carried out and completed.

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