Arterial puncture is one method of blood collection. Licensed and skilled personnel should perform it. Laboratory technologists usually use arterial blood in blood gas analysis (BGA) or analysis of blood gas (ABG).
The procedure is similar to venipucture but should be done under anaerobic (no exposure to air) conditions to avoid escape of gas and shift from intracellular to extracellular fluid.
Luer lock syringe or appropriate syringe
Dry and sterile cotton
Wet and sterile cotton
Test tube rack
Test tube (optional depending on the type of collection vessel)
Here are the steps in performing arterial puncture.
Wear your personal protective equipment properly.
Prepare materials by checking each item and arranging them within arm’s reach. Do not place near the patient, especially if patient is a child.
Select the best site of puncture. Arterial puncture sites are at the radial artery, femoral artery or brachial artery. Be certain that it is an artery instead of a vein, by feeling for the pulsations, which is characterized by a strong beating pulse. Veins usually disappear when you push hard.
Puncture the artery at about 90 degrees angle. When you have correctly hit the vein, blood will push the plunger upwards. You just have to be ready to remove the needle from the artery when done the collecting the needed volume of arterial blood.
After collection, remove the needle smoothly and apply pressure with sterile, dry cotton for 10 to 20 minutes. You could ask assistance from the patient, and then leave the cotton and place micropore.
Depending upon the type of syringe used, you must seal the specimen container to ensure anaerobic exposure. Dispense in sealed containers.
The blood sample or arterial blood should be covered at all times. Label the specimen properly. If you are not testing the blood immediately then keep it in chilled ice. Even when transporting, it should be placed in an icebox with crushed ice.
Check the wound of the patient. Be certain there is no bleeding, before you allow him to stand.
Dispose your used materials in specified containers. Clean your working area.
Wash your hands thoroughly after the procedure.
Licensed personnel should do arterial puncture, as there is the danger of hitting major nerves, which can debilitate or paralyze a person. It may also cause hemorrhage if there is no correct patient’s after care.