Are patients well informed about phlebotomy fasting requirements?


#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Kackov, S., Simundic, A.M. and Gatti-Drnic, A. (2013) Are patients well informed about the fasting requirements for laboratory blood testing? Biochemia Medica (Zagreb). 23(3), p.326-31.


INTRODUCTION: Proper preparation of the individual is a key prerequisite for ensuring the quality of laboratory testing. Our hypothesis was that many outpatients are not sufficiently familiar with the correct way of preparing for the laboratory tests, for which the individual needs to be at fasting. This study aimed to investigate: i) whether patients are aware of how they need to prepare properly for laboratory tests; ii) the way in which users are informed about how to prepare for laboratory testing; and iii) whether users arrive to the laboratory for phlebotomy properly prepared.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was conducted on 150 outpatients older than 18 years, during February 2013. The response rate was 11%. All patients were interviewed by the laboratory staff. Patients were informed about detail of the questionnaire and agreed to participate in the survey.

RESULTS: Out of the total number subjects, 39% were fully aware of the proper definition of the fasting, whereas even 46% subjects replied that the last meal has to be taken the day before and the exact time that must pass after the last meal to blood sampling is not important. Furthermore, 52% subjects did not receive any information about how they need to prepare themselves properly for blood testing. Only 60% of them came properly prepared for the laboratory blood testing.

CONCLUSIONS: Substantial proportion of patients do not come properly prepared for laboratory testing. We conclude that patients are not well informed about the fasting requirements for laboratory blood testing. Moreover, requesting physician is the preferred source of information from which patients learn how to prepare themselves for phlebotomy.

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