When you first start your jobs after graduating, the chances are you'll have to take blood rather a lot. Newly qualified doctors, Peter Cartledge and Georgina Moore share their experience and look at the evidence
- By: Peter Cartledge, Georgina Moore
After years of hard grind at medical school, and armed with all that knowledge, you are ready to start saving lives. Then, suddenly you are brought back to earth with a bump when you realise that most of your first year will be spent filling in forms and taking blood. Soon enough the dreaded first night comes around. The time is 3 am, and you are struggling to take blood from a patient who needs an urgent cross match for a blood transfusion. You run through the options in your mind. Should you call a more senior doctor, or should you try again in the blind hope that you will hit the vein? Before you start to panic, try some of these helpful tips on taking blood and doing peripheral cannulation.
Central lines should only be used for taking blood as a last resort. Risking catheter sepsis or a clotted