Background: Oncology patients have frequent venipunctures, which causes scarring, making subsequent draws difficult and painful. Novel blood collection systems may decrease discomfort in patients experiencing repeat blood draws.
Methods: Oncology outpatients (n = 101; criteria excluded 12) were recruited to determine their preference for either of two blood collection systems, the 23-gauge standard BD Vacutainer Push Button Blood Collection Set (Standard Push Button system) or the 25-gauge BD Vacutainer UltraTouch Push Button Blood Collection Set (UltraTouch Push Button system). Subjects received two blinded, randomized blood draws, one with each device and just one device for each arm. Subjects subsequently rated their blinded preference for blood collection system. Specimen quality was assessed for each device with measurements for plasma hemoglobin (Shimadzu UV-1800 spectrophotometer, Shimadzu), lactate dehydrogenase, and potassium (Vitros 4600/5600 analyzer, Ortho Diagnostics).
Results: Preference for the 25-gauge UltraTouch Push Button system over the 23-gauge Standard Push Button system was significant (UltraTouch, n = 51; Standard n = 30; no preference, n = 8; P = 0.0196). Regarding sample quality, the 25-gauge UltraTouch Push Button system had significantly lower plasma hemoglobin (average 5.34 mg/dL) vs the 23-gauge Standard Push Button system (9.37 mg/dL; P < 0.0001); serum lactate dehydrogenase and potassium differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Subjects in an oncology clinic preferred phlebotomy with the 25-gauge UltraTouch Push Button system, and samples using this device had less hemolysis as assessed by plasma hemoglobin.Reference:
Merrill VD, Ward MD, Diaz-McNair J, Pickett EA, Duh SH, Christenson RH. Assessing Phlebotomy Device Preference and Specimen Quality in an Oncology Outpatient Clinic. J Appl Lab Med. 2021 Oct 11:jfab109. doi: 10.1093/jalm/jfab109. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34632493.