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How to Perform Venipuncture. Drawing Blood for Dummies.

Updated on August 24, 2011

Lets Begin!

Drawing blood isn't difficult.You just have to have confidence and stay calm. Here are the directions step by step.

Supplies Needed: Vacutainer and needle or butterfly, alcohol, cotton balls or pads, tourniquet, blood collection tube, band aid.

1.) Choose an arm with the best visible veins. If you don't see any veins you will have to palpate for them. Use your index finger to gently feel for the vein you want to use. It is best to use the vein in the center of the arm; the medial cubital vein. This allows you to stay away from arteries. When you touch the vein, it should be soft and it should spring back. An artery is firm to the touch and you don't want to puncture this because your patient could bleed to death. It is extremely difficult to stop the bleeding from an artery puncture, but if this ever occurs, apply constant pressure until help arrives.

2.) After you have chosen the vein, use alcohol to clean the area. Rub in circles.

3.) Use your tourniquet. Tie it about two inches above the site you plan to puncture. It should be tied so that it can be released only using one hand and easily because it can only be left on for 60 seconds once you begin drawing the blood.

4.) Pick up your vacutainer or butterfly and be sure that the little hole at the tip of the needle called a bevel is facing up towards you. Never puncture with the bevel down. Blood would be squirting everywhere.

5.) Insert the needle into the vein so that the bevel is covered. If you go too deep you will go through the vein; too shallow and and you wont get any blood.

6.) After 60 seconds, release the tourniquet and continue to let the blood flow into the tube until it is full.

7.) Quickly pull out the needle and apply pressure using your cotton pad. Now cover the pad and area with a band aid.

8.) Release your tube and dispose of the needle.

9.) You're done!

Performing Phlebotomy Using a Vacutainer

Venipuncture Using a Butterfly

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