Q I have seen that when you heel stick a baby, you are only to use one side of the heel. Is this true? Also what is the proper amount of blood to take from a zero-day to one-year-old child? Do you think heel warmers are okay to use on infants?
A When performing a heel stick on an infant (<1 year of age), site selection on the heel is imperative to avoid injury. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. CLSI CLSI Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (Wayne, PA)
CLSI Cisco Link Services Interface , "In infants less than one year old, punctures to the lateral or medial plantar surface of the heel are generally performed.... If an infant's heel is to be punctured, the site shall be on the plantar plantar /plan·tar/ (plan´tar) pertaining to the sole of the foot.
Of, relating to, or occurring on the sole. surface medial to a line drawn posteriorly from the middle of the great toe to the heel, or lateral to a line drawn posteriorly from between the fourth and fifth toes to the heel. In almost all infants, the heel bone heel bone
See calcaneus. is not under these areas. The puncture shall not be through a previous puncture site which may be infected, nor shall it be at the curvature of the heel." (1) These sites are selected to stay away from heel bones that could be injured.
This guideline, along with CLSI_Blood Collection on Filter Paper for Newborn Screening newborn screening Neonatology The analysis of a neonate's blood for metabolic or other disorders to prevent mental retardation, disability or death Program (2) both hold a wealth of information and standards for heel sticks on infants.
Proper blood-draw volume on infants is usually determined at the institutional level using a weight-based equation to ensure that iatrogenic iatrogenic /iat·ro·gen·ic/ (i-a´tro-jen´ik) resulting from the activity of physicians; said of any adverse condition in a patient resulting from treatment by a physician or surgeon. anemia does not occur. I would recommend contacting the Center for Phlebotomy Phlebotomy Definition
Phlebotomy is the act of drawing or removing blood from the circulatory system through a cut (incision) or puncture in order to obtain a sample for analysis and diagnosis. Education3 for literature and guidelines for determining infant blood-draw volume at your institution.
Warming the heel is necessary and recommended for site preparation to increase blood flow to the heel. Using a commercial heel warmer is completely acceptable. Just ensure that temperatures do not exceed 42[degrees]C. Refer to the CLSI guidelines for further information and suggestions.
Phlebotomy and POCT POCT Point of care testing, see there Manager
Oregon Health and Science University
1. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Procedures and Devices for the Collection of Diagnostic Capillary Blood Specimens; Approved Standard--Fifth Edition. Wayne, PA: Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute; 2004. CLSI document H4-H5.
2. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Blood Collection on Filter Paper for Newborn Screening Programs Approved Standard--Fourth Edition. Wayne, PA: Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute; 2003. CLSI document LA4-A4.
3. Center for Phlebotomy Education. http://www.phlebotomy.com. Accessed January 30, 2008.