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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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Positioning the Patient

After proper introduction and identification of patient, the healthcare provider performing the capillary collection is ready to perform the puncture. In order to obtain the best specimen, proper positioning of the patient is critical. For both finger and heel incision, a downward position is recommended so gravity will help the blood easily flow into the tube. For adults and children, a finger stick will be performed. Patient should be sitting or laying down, with the palm up and the hand placed on a hard surface. The finger to be used for collection should be pointing downwards. For infants, a heel stick will be performed. The patient should be laying on the back with the heel in a downward position.