NurseSim

Performing Venepuncture – Barrel

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Venepuncture is performed when a person needs venous blood drawn for analysis. The drawing of blood from a vein can be carried out in different ways, but the most common are via:

  • winged infusion set
  • vacuum blood collection (barrel)
  • syringe and needle.

The following procedure concentrates on vacuum blood collection (barrel). This is the preferred method when a client has healthy veins. It involves using a blood collection device, which enables vacuum extraction of blood into the collection tubes.

It is important to note that, when performing venepuncture using the vacuum collection method, there will be no visible ‘flashback’ of blood when the needle pierces the vein as seen in the syringe and needle method, unless a special needle is used.

Adequate training is essential to complete this procedure successfully and to ensure that the specimen taken has not been compromised, resulting in inaccurate test results. Nurses need to comply with industry policies, National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition), organisational guidelines and procedural direction to safely perform this procedure.

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