taking a blood sample outside the clinic: how to make it easier
When taking blood samples via traditional venous puncture, low-resource areas cause significant technological impediments. Tubes of collected blood require special handling that isn't easily done in all situations. Poor handling and care can jeopardize the safety of blood samples.
Proper temperature regulation is imperative for protecting the integrity of blood; in many parts of the world, this can be a serious challenge. Domestic cooling appliances don't have sufficient insulation to maintain temperatures long enough in case of power outages. They also aren't equipped with alarms that sound when the temperature reaches unsafe levels.
Many rural facilities use generators to meet their power needs, but generators often can't provide permanent and reliable power for specialized equipment. Even facilities attached to a national power grid can experience surges or long outages that can damage refrigeration units. If proper storage conditions can't be maintained, all blood samples will need to be discarded.
Blood microsampling involves taking very small amount of blood instead of large samples via traditional venous puncture. In addition to enabling the utmost flexibility in where and when blood sample collection can happen, new microsampling technology such as the Mitra® device is so user-friendly that anyone can take a blood sample with it after receiving minimal training. This method allows for smaller samples to be taken, which is easier on patients, and testing to occur in faraway labs.
Recent surveys show a 20% increase in the number of respondents who regularly use microsampling when taking blood samples. The reasons that the survey takers cited for using microsampling include saving time and money while increasing the quality of data that results from testing.
Much of the excitement around microsampling is due to its life-saving implications in the low-resource areas that need it most.
Topics: Alternative to Venipuncture