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Improper procudure for drawing blood??

Mar 9, 2009

Hello Dr. Bob!

I recently went to a walk-in clinic where the doctor wanted blood drawn.

A very muscular male nurse came in to do the job. Without gloves on, he tied the rubber band around my arm, and began feeling for the vein.

Once he found it, he put gloves on, used an alcohol swab, but then ripped the thumb part of his glove off so that he could feel for the vein again. Then he inserted the needle.

Is this sanitary? I guess after the incident at the Nevada clinic where people contracted hepatitis and hiv from improper procudures, I was worried about whether I should start going somewhere else.


Response from Dr. Frascino


Is this "sanitary?" Yes, it's fine. See below. By the way, what difference does it make that the nurse was "a very muscular male?"

Dr. Bob

blood work (DIDN'T USE LATEX GLOVES FOR BLOOD DRAW) Feb 28, 2009

Hello Doctor Bob. Hope all is well. Due to the grim economy and the threat of losing my job, I decided to have a full physical and blood work done while I still have health insurance. Everything came back ok...but I was surprised that the nurse did not wear rubber gloves when taking my blood. I didn't notice until the procedure was done (I cannot watch the needle). I inquired about this, and it is only a recommendation (not a requirement). So then the OCD kicked in, and I became worried that something somehow went into my arm. Although I did not fully inspect her hands, I do not remember seeing any cuts. The only time she contacted my arm was when placing the I later examined the gauze,and did not see any blood stains on the side she touched (just the small dot on the underside from my arm) I am assuming there was nothing to worry about...would you agree? I don't want to have to be "tested for being tested"!!...thanks Doctor Bob.

Response from Dr. Frascino


I agree! Your risk is nonexistent and there is absolutely no need to be "tested for being tested." The wearing of latex gloves during phlebotomy (blood drawing) is designed primarily to protect the health care worker from contamination from patients infected with bloodborne illnesses, such as HIV and hepatitis. Nothing "goes into your arm" during a blood draw; rather, something comes out: blood! Stop worrying, OK? All is well, including you.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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