Reduction of blood loss from laboratory testing in hospitalized adult patients using small-volume (pediatric) tubes.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2008 Dec;132(12):1916-9
Authors: Sanchez-Giron F, Alvarez-Mora F
CONTEXT: Blood loss from laboratory testing (BLLT) can be significant in hospitalized patients. It is a common practice to draw full large-volume tubes of blood from adults. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether BLLT occurred when a small-volume (pediatric) blood collection tube (SVT) was substituted for each large-volume blood collection tube and to note whether an adequate sample still was obtained. DESIGN: During 2 consecutive weeks, hospital test requisitions were reviewed to collect patient demographics, tests requested, and number and type of tubes obtained. The amount of blood collected and BLLT per patient were calculated. Reduced sample requirements were calculated, and phlebotomists and ward nurses were required to use SVTs. After 2 weeks of familiarization, data were collected as previously described. Laboratory technicians logged problems related to the use of SVTs. RESULTS: Baseline: 227 patients had 664 requisitions, and median BLLT per patient was 13.5 mL (interquartile range [IQR], 7.6-27.3 mL). In critical care patients, the median was 19.9 mL (IQR, 12.0-35.8 mL), and maximum BLLT was 159.8 mL. Intervention phase: 246 patients had 696 requisitions, median BLLT was 3.7 mL (IQR, 1.2-6.3 mL; P < .001). In critical care patients, the median was 5.1 mL (IQR, 2.3-10.9 mL), and maximum BLLT was 61.8 mL (P < .001). All tests requested could be performed using SVTs, and no additional blood collections were required. Use of SVTs reduced overall BLLT per patient by 73% and by 74% in critical care patients. CONCLUSIONS: By decreasing the size of the blood collection tube for adults, we were able to markedly reduce BLLT without noting any insufficient specimen volumes.
PMID: 19061290 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]