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closed system blood collection

Blood sampling or collection is crucial to routine pre-emptive care and diagnostics. It helps diagnose ailments before they become severe and allows doctors to understand if your body lacks or over-produces any element. Hospitals and healthcare clinics have various blood collection systems where venepunctures are performed most often. 

Venepunctures methods include syringes, vacuum tubes, and butterfly needles. Evacuated vacuum tubes, also called closed systems, are preferred for blood sampling since they are considered safer than open ones.  Here’s a guide to understanding how a closed system for the blood collection process enhanced the accuracy of test results worldwide.

What is the Closed System/Vacuum Tube Blood Collection?

The most common closed systems use a hypodermic needle, tube holder, and a vacuum extraction tube for blood sampling. Here, the lab technician affixes the needle to the tube holder, or it comes as one unit. In the closed system blood collection, the other end of the equipment is covered by a rubber sleeve, screwed into the evacuated tube needle holder. The holder prevents any direct contact between the blood and the phlebotomist. 

Once they put the needle into the vein, the tube presses on to it, and the required amount of blood is drawn automatically into the sample collection tube. The system usually comes with laboratory collection tubes with differently coloured caps/tops for assimilating various samples. Nowadays, paediatric and adult specimens are readily available in the market. 

Shortcomings of Open Systems of Blood Collection

The process for drawing blood without evacuated vacuum tubes includes numerous painstaking steps. Before blood collection, the medical personnel prepare and dispense solutions for the different additive tubes to ensure proper blood anticoagulation. Unlike the closed system that automatically extracts blood, the phlebotomist draws lines on the tubes to determine the right volume.

Patients requiring several tests undergo needle puncture as many times. Even after the collection, the blood needs transferring into a series of sample tubes with utmost care to guarantee safe transportation and no transmission. The open system for blood collection and processing leaves room for errors and lost time due to multiple transfers and punctures. It also leads to patient trauma, skin allergies and is quite painful due to repeated insertions.

Benefits of the Closed System/Vacuum Tube Blood Collection over Its Counterparts

Using vacuum extraction tubes for collecting blood diminishes the risk of direct exposure of blood to air and the healthcare professional. The advantages of closed systems on a large scale are manifold; here’s a few of them: 

  • Multiple Samples: If you analyse the blood collection procedure step by step, you will see that numerous vacuum tubes can easily be attached and removed. This feature allows more than one sample to be secured in one procedure. 
  • No blood drainage: What’s more is that the flexible rubber fitting placed over the cannula through which it is possible to take several samples also seals the needle preventing blood from draining out freely. 
  • Flexible usage: Vacuum tubes made of glass or plastic material are non-friable, light pressure, easy to transport, and guarantee medical personnel’s safety.
  • No risk of transmission: Since the systems are closed and equipped with safety protection tops, they prevent spraying of blood or spread to the professionals carrying it.
  • Different caps: The multi-coloured tops hold a critical purpose as they contain fixed anticoagulants. The light blue, plain red, gold, dark green, mint green, purple, pink, royal blue, tan, grey, yellow, and white contain different anticoagulants, clot activator, serum separating gel, etc., to ensure element conservation. 
  • Safety tops: Safety tops with various colours have more than one use. Since international standards are common for these tubes, distinguishing different tube additives is easy for medical personnel.

The closed system blood collection has come a long way from its origin in the 1980s. Today various guidelines and regulatory agencies are in place to guarantee design and quality consistency in the systems. When evacuated blood collection systems came into being, they transformed the available safety, accuracy through blood-to-additive ratios, and flexibility in use like never before.

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