Safety Considerations in Phlebotomy

  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • March 11, 2024
  • 3 min read
drawing blood

As with any medical procedure using needles and involving the drawing of blood, phlebotomy requires strict safety protocols to keep with the phlebotomist and the patient safe.

In this article, we’ll be looking at what the more common safety concerns and considerations of phlebotomy are and how to overcome them.

Read More: Why Would a Patient Need Phlebotomy?

Safety Considerations in Phlebotomy

Hands and Gloves

Hands and gloves are a primary focus when feeling with phlebotomy health concerns. No blood draw should be completed without gloves and there should be no exceptions to this rule. 

Compromised gloves should be changed immediately and, as a precaution, gloves should be changed between patients to prevent the accidental passing of fluids.

Hands should always be washed between gloves changes or an alcohol-based cleaner should be used if handwashing is not an option.


A sharps container should always be within reach at the point of use so that the phlebotomist doesn’t have to run the risk of having to transport a contaminated needle, even when the point is concealed. A sharps container should never be allowed to overflow.

Needles should never be recapped, even if they haven’t been used and, if available, a needle’s safety feature should be used as quickly as possible after use. 

The needle and tube-holder assembly should be discarded as one unit without removing the contaminated needle from a blood collection device.

The Patient 

Studies say five out of every 200 patients will pass out during or after a blood draw, so it’s best to be prepared for that circumstance. Make sure you position your patient so they are in a supported position should they pass out.

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Basilic veins should be avoided unless there are no other antecubital options. If a nerve has been provoked, the blood draw should be terminated immediately.

Once the blood draw is complete, pressure should be applied firm and long enough so that the draw sites don’t bleed for long. Phlebotomists should take at least ten seconds to observe a site after pressure is released to make sure the degree and extent of pressure was adequate.

The Sample

The sample tube should not be prelabeled in case the draw fails, and filled tubes should be labeled at the patient’s side. When feasible, an effort should be made to have the patient verify the information on the tube. Any unlabeled samples should automatically be rejected as unsafe.  

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Corey Del Pino
Dean Of Clinical Programs

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Corey Del Pino attended Northern Arizona University after high school and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a Chemistry Minor in 2012. After attending Mohave Community College and earning her Medical…Read Full Bio

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