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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Pre-analytical Challenges Encountered with Capillary Blood Collection and Testing. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Introduction to Capillary Blood Collection and Testing

Historically, capillary blood testing was done primarily on patients with inadequate veins for venipuncture. These included the very young or the very old, patients with damaged veins, burn victims, patients with arms in casts, chemotherapy and obese patients among others. With the advent of point-of-care testing (POCT) and the advances in emergency medicine, capillary blood testing is becoming more and more common.
With more popularity comes more responsibility and that is also the case with capillary blood collection and testing. It is very important that the healthcare providers collecting and testing the samples are properly trained and adhere to the policies and procedures in order to reduce errors and ensure quality results. Test results are only as good as the sample used for testing. This course is meant to help with such challenges and will point out where care needs to be taken at the different steps along the way in order to avoid pre-analytical errors.