Sampling with larger blood volumes

Obtaining a larger sample volume

Techniques to stimulate the collection of larger capillary blood sample volumes

  • The volume of blood required for testing may vary and is dependent upon the specific test
    being performed and the instrument being used; consult institutional guidelines for the specific
    volume needed
  • Safety lancet gauge and puncture depth, temperature of the puncture site and post-puncture
    techniques, like massage, can infl uence the volume of blood collected1
  • To achieve a larger volume of blood choose a safety lancet with a thicker gauge and greater
    puncture depth; consider the age and weight of the patient when selecting the device
  • Warming the puncture site may encourage increased blood flow to the area and produce a
    larger blood sample volume; warming techniques can include asking the patient to rub their
    hands together or wash their hands in lukewarm water2
  • Alternative warming techniques include covering the puncture site with a warming
    device (commercial device or warm, moist towel) not to exceed a maximum temperature
    of 42°C or 107°F2
  • After puncture massage gently along the length of the finger towards the tip, using
    a light squeeze-and-release motion to encourage constant, steady blood flow2*
Pre-warm the puncture site by applying a warming device (commercial device or warm, moist towel) not to exceed 42°C/107°F, for approximately 3-5 minutes, to increase blood flow without burning the skin.

Expert Tip

Pre-warm the puncture site by applying a warming device, not to exceed 42°C/107°F, for approximately 3-5 minutes, to increase blood flow without burning the skin2

These materials have been produced in consultation with key opinion leaders and follow global guidelines, but the user should use his or her professional judgement when
using any technique or method described in these materials and should take into account all applicable national, regional and institutional guidelines and regulations.

1. Grady M, Pineau M, Pynes MK, Katz B, Ginsberg B. A Clinical Evaluation of Routine Blood Sampling Practices in patients with Diabetes: Impact on Fingerstick Blood volume and pain. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 2014; 8 (4): 691-698. 2. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) document GP42-A6 (former H04-A6): Procedures and Devices for the Collection of Diagnostic Capillary Blood Specimens; Approved Standard – Sixth Edition. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute; Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA: 2008. * See instruction sheet ‘Collecting a finger capillary blood sample’