The toxicology section of the lab provides blood lead testing for the identification of childhood lead poisoning
and occupational lead exposure. Below is an abbreviated procedure for the collection of blood lead specimens by
finger stick. Specimen collectors should be thoroughly familiar with the comprehensive procedure before collecting
Fingerstick Specimen from a Child
It is recommended to use the MicroVette® Capillary Blood Collection
System by Sarstedt, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of single use clinical and laboratory disposables, or
the Vacuette® MiniCollect® Capillary Collection System by
These microcollection systems are simple to use as they automatically fill up due to normal venous pressure.
They are designed for a single venous blood collection using one-handed control while the other hand of the
phlebotomist holds the child's finger. All Greiner Bio-One blood collection tubes utilize a proprietary plastic
formulation, special closure system and advanced ergonomic design to improve safety and integrity at every
*MicroVette is registered trademarks of Sarsted.
**Vacuette and MiniCollect are registered trademarks of Greiner Bio-One.
Procedure Safety and Precautions
When collecting a blood lead specimen careful setup and precautions must be taken throughout the procedure to
prevent environmental contamination of the specimen. It is important that the patient's (child's) hand is
sufficiently cleansed because contamination most often occurs due to insufficient cleansing.
Contamination can also be caused by the lancet or the end of the blood collection apparatus which may have been
in direct contact with a contaminated surface. Also it is best to wear powder-free gloves during collection
procedures and as always appropriate blood borne pathogen guidelines must be strictly adhered to.
And Don't Laugh! Sing...
Laughing when a child is afraid is very insensitive, if not humiliating. Then again, sometimes, people have
awkward ways of dealing with painful situations and when a parent sees their child in pain you never know how they
may react. It is okay for a phlebotomist to remind the parent to remain calm and encourage them to reassure the
child throgh touch, and voice.
Kudos to the parents and the phlebotomist in this
ATTENTION: Please realize that this video
(published from YouTube) is NOT HERE TO TEACH you phlebotomy techniques, but
merely to show you different scenarios of the phlebotomist's daily routine. The video may contain techniques, or procedures that do not conform to proper, and
safe venipuncture protocol. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
Collection Procedure and Some Words of Wisdom!
Be aware of safety measures and precautions
Open and arrange equipment so that all
collection materials are within easy reach
Label all collection tubes with the child's
name. Avoid allowing the capillary tip to contact environmental surfaces.
Wash, rinse, and dry the child's hand. Following
washing, the finger to be punctured must not be allowed to touch any surface, including the other fingers.
Scrub the finger (usually the middle or ring
finger) with an alcohol pad.
Blot the sampling area once with a dry gauze
Puncture the finger's pad slightly to the side
using a sterile lancet.
Absorb the first drop of blood with the corner
of a gauze pad and allow a second well rounded drop to form.
Touch the capillary tip of the MultiVette® to
the second blood drop, minimizing direct contact with the skin surface. The Multivette should be horizontal or
angled downward slightly for proper blood flow. Blood will be drawn into the tip.
If necessary, gently massage the base of the
finger to improve blood flow. Do not 'milk' the finger as this may dilute the blood with tissue fluids.
Fill the capillary tip until blood is flush with
the purple cap of the MultiVette®. This will provide approximately 100 mL of blood. Unscrew the capillary
assembly and remove. Blood will be drawn from the tip into the Multivette tube.
Screw the cap onto the Multivette®, and shake
vigorously to mix. You should be able to hear the mixing doughnut while shaking.
Place the labeled tube and absorbent material
into a Ziploc bag.
Place the specimens and completed test request
forms in mailing containers. For convenience, several labeled MultiVette® tubes may be placed in one Ziploc®
bag for mailing.
Mail specimens promptly to the hematology/toxicology reference lab. If
mailing will be delayed, refrigerate the specimens if possible.