Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Practice Considerations for Blood Draws

  • Venipuncture is the preferred method of blood sampling. If this method is not feasible following an individualized risk–benefit assessment, then a blood draw from a VAD may be considered.
  • With any blood draw, health providers must adhere to a standardized blood sampling protocol or organizational policy.
  • Decisions around blood draws require an individualized risk–benefit assessment, including factors such as the following:
    • Person factors:
      • age;
      • health history;
      • DiVA;
      • pain and comfort;
      • fear and anxiety, including needle phobia;
      • bleeding disorders; and
      • risk for infection (e.g., immunocompromised individuals).
    • VAD factors:
      • size and location;
      • integrity of the site;
      • condition of the VAD; and
      • current infusion therapy (i.e., can it be safely stopped for blood sampling).
    • Blood sampling factors:
      • importance of highly accurate sampling; and
      • frequency of blood draws.
Clinical Management
Assessment and Device Selection for Vascular Access
Point of Care Resources