In medicine, when a method comes along to get better and faster results, everyone can benefit—especially patients.
Since even those of us involved in medicine as lab techs, research scientists or CEOs will end up as patients at certain times, we all share in the benefits of important technical medical advances.
One such benefit is dried blood microsampling, which is the collection of very small amounts of blood (e.g. 10 µL) typically via a finger-prick. After the blood microsample is dried it can be transported without cold chain or biohazard shipping requirements.
Microsampling: The Patient-Friendly Alternative to Blood Work
There’s a reason traditional venipuncture and testing is referred to as blood “work.” Patients must often travel to a facility or office, wait, undergo the needle stick and watch vials of blood drawn from a vein. This process is unnerving, costly, and time-consuming for the patient, which results in patients delaying their important lab visits.
Lab test data drives more than 70% of health decisions according to the American Journal of Pathology. Yet, many lab test orders don’t get filled in the U.S., likely due to the inconvenience and cost.
Keeping the above in mind, here are just three valuable patient benefits of dried blood microsampling:
Patient outcomes improve, and lives may be saved: Since microsampling is more comfortable, more convenient, and quicker (sometimes even done at home by patients themselves), patients benefit from faster diagnoses and proper treatment begins more quickly.
Low blood volume patients are not compromised: Very sick ICU patients can be put at risk due to traditional testing, where they often lose 2% of their blood volume to required daily testing, according to Johns Hopkins' Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. Similarly, microliter blood collections are more suitable for neonatal and pediatric patients where there is a worry of decreasing total blood volume.
Patient satisfaction and cooperation increase: More convenient blood draws with less pain, and the option of home sampling, leads patients to submit more readily to monitoring of chronic conditions and/or drug therapy. Better compliance improves both short- and long-term outcomes. Traditional blood draws are especially tough for the elderly with collapsed veins and oncology patients undergoing frequent draws, making microsampling a boon to their quality of life and mental attitude.