20th Century to Present – An Ever Changing Technology - Capillary Puncture

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20th Century to Present – An Ever Changing Technology - Capillary Puncture

In his second edition of Clinical Diagnosis by Laboratory Methods, published in 1912, J. C. Todd stated that “For most clinical examinations only one drop of blood is required.” For the most part, that statement was true. Remember, automated laboratory testing was a good number of years in the future. The hemoglobin, hematocrit, red cell count, white cell count, and a slide for a white cell differential could all be accomplished from a small amount of blood obtained by capillary puncture. Early lancets were very crude devices. They made large hole in the skin, more often than not caused bruising of the bone, and unless individually wrapped and autoclaved were difficult to clean and sterilize between patients. Improvements came with time. Today sterilized individually packaged lancets are available that virtually cause no pain.