PHLEBOTOMY SAFETY PROCEDURES FOR FAINTING/ILL PATIENTS

Effective Date: 
Mon, 07/01/2002
Reviewed: 
Tue, 01/10/2017
Policy: 

Patients who are having blood drawn may display signs of becoming faint. These include:

  1. Progressive facial pallor with cold perspiration
  2. Loss of muscle tone with limp extremities
  3. Hyperventilation with tingling of fingertips
  4. Nausea

WHEN ANY OF THE ABOVE SIGNS APPEAR OR IF THE PATIENT EXPRESSED UNUSUAL DISTRESS, DISCONTINUE DRAWING BLOOD

When fainting has not yet occurred but there are good indications of impending syncope, engage lever at base of chair to bring patient to supine position.

If patient begins to feel sick, obtain basin for possible emesis.

DO NOT LEAVE THE PATIENT UNATTENDED, CALL FOR ASSISTANCE IF NECESSARY.

If medical help is urgently needed, dial "44" to access the Health Center-wide speaker system and state "RN to the lab STAT" and repeat.

 

Be aware that such patients can be injured by falling against laboratory equipment or by nearby apparatus such as blood drawing needles.

Elevating the feet above the body should hasten recovery.

Allow the patient to rest as long as necessary. Water, juice and/or a granola bar may be offered.

 

If TOTAL SYNCOPE ensues:

  1. Lasting a few moments: reassurances and a few minutes of observation should enable the patient to process safely from the laboratory following the incident.
  2. Lasting an unusually long time or if there is seizure activity: Call the Charge Nurse  for assistance at 9-2398 or 9-1808 or mobile 332-3795.  The patient will be examined by an RN or the Doctor-on-all before leaving. Patients may also remain in the Holding Room for observation if necessary.