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Drawing Labs (Peripheral)

Posted
Missy7801 Missy7801 (New) New

I am (finally) no longer actually a student but frequently read this forum when I was and now that I have an account this seemed like the most appropriate place for this kind of question (if not someone please let me know).

I am a new nurse and recently a more senior nurse saw me drawing labs on a patient; this was a peripheral phlebotomy needle stick, NOT from a central line. I was drawing the labs from the patient's left arm. The patient had IV fluids infusing in a peripheral IV in the right arm. The nurse that saw me said I should start over because I forgot to pause the IV fluids. But I was using the opposite arm. When I was in school I was nervous about IV/lab drawing so I took this optional 1 day phlebotomy basics course and the method taught was that if you are using the opposite arm and IVF is infusing in a peripheral line, there is no need to pause.... So I am wondering, was she right? Would it effect the results? Is there cause to pause (just laughed a little longer than I should have over managing to rhyme lol)?

NICUmiiki, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU/PICU Flight Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

The only time we pause is if we draw at the iv site or higher on the same arm. We don't even pause when drawing below the iv site.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

I have NO IDEA what she is talking about. However...don't get into an argument/discussion about this with her...you can say I took a phlebotomy course and they taught us different...thank you for letting me know what the routine/preference is here.

I have NO IDEA what she is talking about. However...don't get into an argument/discussion about this with her...you can say I took a phlebotomy course and they taught us different...thank you for letting me know what the routine/preference is here.

Esme is so right. Don't argue. It's not worth arguing with someone. Especially if you work with them and have to see them everyday. Also, you may need them one day. 😊

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 6 years experience.

The fluid is entering a vein in the right arm. It starts mixing with blood. By the time it goes the the heart, the lungs, the heart again, and then down to the left arm where you draw the blood. By then, the fluids are thoroughly "mixed into" the blood. In fact, it is the blood. Stopping the infusion on the right arm would have zero effect on the composition of the blood that is drawn from the left arm.

But, as others have said, don't argue it.