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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course The Story of Phlebotomy: A Historical Perspective. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Butterfly needle safety devices

Evacuated tube system needle holder with safety device

20th Century to Present – An Ever Changing Technology – Venipuncture Innovations

The technology for blood collection developed by Becton Dickinson in 1949 is substantially similar to the technology for blood collection used today. Nevertheless, great strides have been made to not only improve the technology but the application of the technology as well. Business competition has played a role, but improvements have also been encouraged by regulatory agencies and standards organizations. While there have been many innovative improvements made by the different manufacturers, publication constraints does not allow for an exhaustive list. Below are what the authors believe represent a few of the more important improvements that have contributed to better pre-analytical specimen quality and specimen collection safety: 1) One of the most significant improvements has been the emphasis on needle stick prevention and safety engineering. 2) Color-coding of stoppered tubes. 3) Adoption of stringent requirements for tube draw, fill accuracy, type of additives, additive tolerances, sterility and labeling criteria plus 4) the introduction of plastic evacuated collection tubes.