Intraosseous (IO) devices are used for vascular access in settings where venous access is initially unobtainable, such as prehospital trauma care or cardiac arrest. While IO devices are effective for infusion of blood, fluids, and medications, there is limited data on the analytical equivalence of specimens taken out of IO devices and peripheral venous blood. Despite this, IO device manufacturers and clinical resources state that IO specimens can be submitted for laboratory analysis. As reported in this case, IO specimens may be drawn and labeled as ‘peripheral blood’. IO specimens are not always caught by automated sample quality testing and may proceed through analysis without any warning signal to the laboratory. There are potential regulatory risks in accepting IO samples for analysis without validation. IO infusion is a valuable technique for vascular access in critically ill patients, but clinical laboratories will need to determine their own policies for identifying and handling IO specimens.
Song, L., Koka, R., Reese, E., Mullins, K. and Murphy, C. (2020) Intraosseous Specimens Submitted to the Laboratory: A Case Report and Review. Laboratory Medicine. June 13th. https://doi.org/10.1093/labmed/lmaa029.