Labeling Capillary Blood Specimens

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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.

Learn more about Pre-analytical Challenges Encountered with Capillary Blood Collection and Testing (online CE course)
Labeling Capillary Blood Specimens

As is the case with regular venipuncture tubes, all capillary blood tubes must be properly labeled and confirmed at the patient's bedside, before leaving the room. Included on the label should be at least the first and last name of the patient, the medical record or identification number, the date and time of collection, initials of the person collecting the specimen, and any other information required by the collecting facility.
Many capillary blood containers are too small to label with bar-coded labels, therefore special care needs to be taken. Labeling options may include manually labeling and placing the microtube inside an empty large red-top tube that is labeled with the patient's information. Some manufactures provide a "tube extender" which attaches to the bottom of the microtube, increases the tube length to the size of a regular tube, and provides a larger area for specimen labeling. Regardless, a healthcare provider should follow the appropriate labeling procedures of their facility.