Blood Collection Methods; Arterial , Venipuncture, Fingerstick Sampling

Blood Collection – Blood Sampling


Blood collection or collecting a specimen sample involves the drawing of blood used for laboratory testing.

Blood specimen collection or collecting blood specimens is a blood sample is taken by a healthcare provider in a laboratory or hospital setting for laboratory analysis or a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. 

To collect blood specimens Blood collection tube is used for collecting blood samples. 


Check out here what different types of blood collection tubes are?


What is Phlebotomy?


Phlebotomy is a procedure to take blood samples in which makes a puncture in a vein to take blood from a vein usually in the arm. A needle is used for the purpose of drawing blood for laboratory testing.


Phlebotomy procedure is also known as Venipuncture.



Methods of Blood Collection


There are three popular methods of blood collection-


1. Arterial Sampling

2.Venipuncture/ Venepuncture Sampling

3. Fingerstick Sampling


Methods of Blood Collection

For proper needle selection for blood specimens, check out here what types of medical needles available are.


1. Arterial Sampling


An arterial blood sample is collected from an artery, primarily to analyze arterial blood gases (ABG), taken from the radial artery.

The radial artery is the preferred site for arterial puncture to draw out samples.

If a blood sample is drawn from the wrist, the health care provider has to first check the pulse.


The arterial blood sample can be taken either through a catheter placed in an artery or by inserting a needle and syringe to puncture an artery.


Arterial Blood Sampling Site


An arterial blood sample is usually drawn from an artery in the wrist. Blood may also be taken from an artery on the inside of the elbow, groin.


Complications related to Arterial Blood Sampling


1.  Arteriospasm or involuntary contraction of the artery

2. Haematoma or excessive bleeding

3. Nerve damage

4. Fainting or a vasovagal response



2. Venipuncture Sampling/Venepuncture Sampling


The collection of blood takes place from a superficial vein in the upper limb, which means the vein is close to the skin.

A tourniquet belt is placed on the upper arm during blood collection.

Venipuncture or venepuncture or phlebotomy is the procedure of obtaining intravenous access for the purpose of venous blood sampling or intravenous therapy.


Complication related to Venepuncture Sampling


    1. Thrombosis

2. Infection

3. Damage to adjacent tissue

4. Arterial puncture

5. Bleeding, Bruising, haematoma


3. Fingerstick Sampling/ Skin puncture


Fingerstick or fingerprick sampling involves taking a very small amount of blood from the patient, usually making the puncture from the end of a finger.


Capillary blood sampling is a way of doing blood tests; the term refers to a finger prick or a heel prick.


In Adult

In adults, a blood sample is taken from the side of ring or middle finger, or ear lobe.

In an adult patient preferred site is the finger for the capillary testing.


In infants


In infants, a blood sample is obtained from the sides of the heel, or the great toe is only used in paediatric and neonatal patients.


Complications that can Arise in Capillary Sampling


1. Localized necrosis

2. Haematoma

3. Scarring

4. Nerve damage if the fingers of neonates are punctured

5. Excessive squeezing will cause contamination of the arterialized blood with venous blood (transform venous blood into arterial blood by oxygenation) or interstitial fluid or can dilute the specimen with tissue fluid.


Get details on what are different types of syringe tips available. 

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