Blood Draws

I.  Standard venipuncture risk

  • "Approximately ____ (amount in teaspoons, tablespoons or ounces) of blood will be removed by putting a needle in your vein on ____ number of occasion(s). This is the standard medical method used to obtain blood for tests. There is momentary pain at the time the needle is inserted into the vein, but other discomfort should be minimal. In about 10% of the cases there is a small amount of bleeding under the skin which will produce a bruise. The risk of infection is less than 1 in 1,000."

II.  Blood drawing through plastic catheters

  • "An intravenous needle/plastic catheter will be placed in your arm for the removal of blood samples/infusion of fluids. This will be left in for _____ (length of time). Approximately _____ (amount in teaspoons, ounces, etc.) of blood will be removed on _____ (number of) occasion(s). You can expect to experience some pain at the moment the needle/needle containing the plastic catheter goes into your arm. In addition to this momentary pain, there will be the minor discomfort of having the needle/catheter taped to your skin. In about 10% of cases, a small amount of bleeding under the skin will produce a bruise (hematoma). The risk of temporary clotting of the vein is about 1%, while the risk of infection of hematoma or significant external blood loss is less than 1 in 1,000."

III.  Indwelling catheter risk

  • "The risks of a tube left in a vein for more than 24 hours include local infection with swelling, redness and pain, bleeding from the site where the tube is put in, and the collection of blood under the skin. Rarely there can be severe infection of the bloodstream or the heart valves, or the formation of a blood clot that could go to your lungs. Complications are extremely unlikely, but treatment could require hospitalization. Your catheter will be left in place for _____ (length of time)."

IV. Arterial blood gas risks

  • "We will ask to measure your blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels by withdrawing approximately _____  (amount in teaspoons or ounces) of blood from an artery near the elbow or wrist. Because there may be more pain from inserting a needle in an artery than a vein, you may receive a small amount of numbing medication injected beneath the skin. Occasionally (less than 10% of the time) a small amount of bleeding under the skin will produce a bruise. Rarely, persons feel faint with any needle insertion.

V.  Finger Stick risks

  • "Approximately _____ drops of blood will be removed by finger stick. This is a standard method used to obtain blood for routine hospital laboratory tests. You will experience pain when the lancet goes into your finger. Other than this momentary pain, the discomfort of finger stick should be minimal. However, in about 10% of the cases a small amount of bleeding under the skin will produce a bruise (hematoma). A small scar may persist for several weeks. The risk of local infection is less than 1 in 1,000."

VI.  Heel stick risk

  • "Approximately _____ drops of blood will be removed from your baby by heel stick. This is a standard method used to obtain blood from infants for routine hospital laboratory tests. Your baby will experience some pain when the lancet goes into his/her heel.. Other than this momentary pain, the discomfort of heel stick should be minimal. However, in about 10% of cases a small amount of bleeding under the skin will produce a bruise (hematoma). A small scar may persist for several weeks. The risk of local infection in this procedure is less than 1 in 1,000."