So it was decided by our hospital that it is no longer "acceptable" to draw labs when starting an IV--i.e. they have to be peripherally stuck for blood in addition to the stick for the IV start. The supposed reasoning behind this is that too many blood specimens were hemolyzed when drawn during an IV start, especially compared with the hemolysis rate for phlebotomists drawing on the floor.
So, we were 'provided' with a phlebotomist and it apparently showed or hemolysis rate went down when they drew blood. What I find interesting is that they were doing such a great job that, yet they went from working in the ER from 11a-11p to now just working 11a-7p. In addition, we are the first place from which a phlebotomist is pulled if they are short staffed (so that they cover the whole house). A coworker also make an interesting observation. When the phlebotomist draws blood they send it to the lab in a colored biohazard bag, while the biohazard bag that we have in stock is clear plastic with the biohazard logo on it. The coworker suggested that if the specimen shows up in the colored bag, the lab treats it differently so that it does not come back hemolyzed or the ignore minor hemolysis on these specimens, yet they always report even the smallest amount of hemolysis drawn on samples drawn by ER staff. Not sure if I buy into the conspiracy theory, but it is an interesting thought.
I have been told by several ER docs and residents that this is a foolish policy and that they line/lab (all in one stick) "everywhere." One doc, who happens to run the residency program for the hospital system asked me "who came up with such an inane policy?"
Anyway, just looking for comments from other ER nurses. Anyone else have to deal with something so silly?