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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Dermal Puncture and Capillary Blood Collection. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Using Sucrose as an Analgesic Prior to Heel Puncture and Capillary Blood Collection

Recent research has indicated that an appropriate dilution of sucrose solution when administered to an infant may serve as a pain relief measure. In some institutions, the nursing staff may require that an infant receive several drops of sucrose immediately prior to the puncture of a heel. This may release endorphins to relieve pain and reduce crying by the infant. Excessive crying may adversely affect some test results such as white blood cell count and capillary blood gases.

If it is the policy of your institution to administer a sucrose solution, coordinate the timing of the dermal puncture with the administration of the sucrose solution by the clinical staff. Outpatients would also require the intervention of a nursing staff member to provide the sucrose solution.

Phlebotomists are not licensed to administer medications or drugs. Therefore, it is typically NOT the responsibility or duty of the phlebotomist to administer sucrose solution. There may be contraindications for sucrose administration with some infants. Therefore, the clinical person in charge of the patient's care must determine if it is safe to administer the solution.

As with all procedures, follow the policies and guidelines of your facility.