venipuncture question

  1. Hello everyone,

    I'm really new at this, so please have patience. I am currently studying to be a medical lab tech. I have a question about blood draws.
    Is it possible to "hit" an artery while attempting a venipuncture from the medial cubital area? If so, how would one know? Thanks for any input
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   ink10300
    Yes, but it is rare. The blood would come into the tube in a fast rushing pulsating manner. It wont hurt the pt, and all you have to do is indicate on the requisition that it is an arterial draw, because lab values will be slightly different. I worked as a phlebotomy technician before going into nursing, and I loved it. I was lucky however to work with the best who taught me above and beyond. I really miss it. Good Luck!
  4. by   EricJRN
    In addition to the spurting or pulsing, you would also likely see bright red blood rather than the dark red blood that we normally see on a venipuncture.

    You're going to handle the patient a little differently after removing the needle. Recommendations vary from source to source, but they generally say to elevate the arm and hold firm pressure to the puncture site for a minimum of five minutes.
  5. by   Tweety
    I hope you found the answers helpful. Good luck in all you do. Welcome to Allnurses.
  6. by   sequelae
    yes it is possible. the backflow will be BRIGHT RED as arterial blood is saturated as opposed to DARK RED in venous blood.
  7. by   hematology_gal
    Thanks soooo much to all who answered my question. You have truly made me feel welcomed here. I was a little concerned about a possible blood clot. I was on the recieving end of the draw. Another student stuck me and a very large hematoma appeared, like no other I've seen. It has been a week and my arm is still pretty bruised. Anyway............ Thanks again to all of you
  8. by   hematology_gal
    When you hear hoofprints, think of horses before zebras
    Last edit by hematology_gal on Jan 13, '07
  9. by   ink10300
    It's possible to go through the vein, that could cause alot of bleeding. But likely she didn't apply enough pressure afterwards. I always used a "compression band-aid" after applying pressure, use a single or double 4x4 gauze. Fold it in half and apply band-aid. It worked pretty well for me. Applying enough pressure is the key to lessen chances of bruising. But sometimes it happens no matter what you do!
  10. by   hematology_gal
    Sorry,
    I told you guys that I'm new at this. Ignore this post :wink2:
    Last edit by hematology_gal on Jan 13, '07

close