FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where can I buy phlebotomy supplies?
Purchase phlebotomy supplies at a reputable supplier of medical supplies like Allegromedical.com. The right supplier will offer authentic products at reasonable prices. This includes things like needles, syringes, products like Curity alcohol prep pads, latex-free disposable tourniquets, and more.
You should also be able to get more than blood draw supplies. Check to make sure your supplier offers not only the basics like syringes or gauze, but also a broad selection of wound and patient care products, cleaning supplies, and more. This ensures that you can get absolutely everything needed from one place, which makes ordering and inventory management easier.
Which supplies are required for a blood draw?
To successfully draw blood, a healthcare practitioner or phlebotomist will at minimum require exam gloves, alcohol wipes, blood collection tubes, a tube holder, tourniquets, syringes, medical tape, and gauze. This list should provide you with the basic necessities for both your own sanitation and the sanitation of the patient. Many medical facilities that practice blood draws will likely need sharps disposal containers, centrifuges, and cool storage as well.
Which medical professionals are permitted to draw blood?
Keep in mind that rules can vary from one state to the next, or even from one medical organization to the next. In general, however, licensed doctors, medical assistants, registered nurses, phlebotomists, and paramedics can draw blood. If you are unsure whether a particular hospital, medical office, or first responder agency allows certain professionals to draw blood, be sure to check their standard of care documentation for specific rules.
What is a butterfly needle?
A butterfly needle is a device that medical professionals use both as a blood drawing needle or as a means to deliver medication. They are also sometimes called “winged infusion sets” or “scalp vein sets.” The name comes from the “winged” needle sheath, which is attached to tubing. The tubing can be attached to IV bags to deliver IV fluids or medications or various butterfly blood draw supplies to draw blood. Take a look at the Vacutainer Safety-Lok 12" w/ Luer Adapter, which is an example of a butterfly needle.
What size needle is used to draw blood?
Needle sizes range from 18 to 27 gauge, with higher numbers being thinner needles. For most blood draws, a size 21 to 23 gauge needle is used—like this 22g x 1.25" Eclipse Blood Collection Needle w/Luer Adapter. Needles thinner than that, especially in the 25 to 27 gauge range, are inappropriate for blood draws. This is because the small inner diameter can cause the blood to clot or hemolyze, which destroys the sample.
What is in a blood collection tube?
Most blood collection tubes, like these Vacutainer Blood Collection Tubes, contain some sort of additive—although there are some that contain no additives. In general, you can tell what type of additive is inside the tube based on the color of the tube’s top. Most of these additives are designed to either accelerate blood clotting (called clot activators) or prevent it from clotting (anticoagulants). Those with clot activators are used to create serum samples when blood is placed in a centrifuge. Anticoagulant tubes will create a plasma sample.
Do the colored caps on blood collection tubes mean anything?
Yes—the colored cap informs you what each tube contains. For example, red-top tubes like the Venous Blood Collection Tube BD Vacutainer Serum Tube will have clot activators if they are plastic, or they will contain nothing if they are glass tubes. Tubes with yellow tops contain sodium polyanethol sulfonate, while tubes with light blue tops contain sodium citrate and CTAD. Always be sure to check which additives you will need for a blood draw, and then choose blood draw tubes accordingly.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.