Paediatric sampling considerations

Sampling method for paediatrics

Advantages of capillary blood sampling over venous sampling in paediatric patients

  • Capillary blood sampling is especially useful in paediatrics. It is less invasive, easier to perform and less distressing for patients and their parents1*
  • Venepuncture in children is often difficult and potentially hazardous. Additionally, the larger amount of blood removed may pose a danger to children, especially those who are anaemic1†
  • Puncturing deep veins in children may cause painful haematoma, haemorrhage, venous thrombosis, infection, damage to surrounding tissues and other complications1
For finger puncture site selection on children, use the side of the ball of the finger.

Expert Tip

Babies under six months old, weighing less than 10kg or not yet walking should be sampled on the heel2

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. 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. 2. WHO guidelines on drawing blood: best practices in phlebotomy. World Health Organisation; 2010. * Except in situations where venous sampling is specifically indicated (e.g. arterial blood gases or tests requiring larger amounts of blood). In premature infants a 10ml sample represents a high proportion of total blood volume and may cause anaemia1.