The Most Common Phlebotomy Errors and How To Avoid Them

The Most Common Phlebotomy Errors and How To Avoid Them

Apr 11th 2022

Phlebotomy is a specialized medical technique, commonly known as a blood draw or venipuncture. Healthcare professionals use a needle to collect a blood sample from a vein for examination. This critical tool in health care supports the diagnosis and treatment of various medical conditions.

Trained phlebotomists must correctly perform these blood draws on patients to assure the best outcomes. Unfortunately, mistakes can occur due to improper techniques, human blunders, or faulty equipment. To err on the side of caution, let’s closely examine the most common phlebotomy errors and how to avoid them.


When considering the most common phlebotomy errors and how to avoid them, it’s wise to remember that even the most minute mistakes can have potentially disastrous effects. Labeling errors are key mishaps to keep in mind, as mislabeling a collected sample with the incorrect patient name may result in physical harm. A patient could end up receiving treatment according to inaccurate laboratory results.

This error is often due to hospitals or facilities cutting corners and pre-labeling tubes. To best prevent this issue, labels with critical information should be applied at the time of collection and always double-checked before the patient leaves the site.

Poor Collection Technique

Another common blood draw error is the incorrect utilization of techniques during the procedure. Phlebotomists must select a proper vein, apply the tourniquet, angle the needle precisely, and follow the order of draw correctly. Beginner technicians can make mistakes during this process, but slip-ups can even occur with experienced technicians.

Technicians can overcome a lack of hands-on practice or knowledge of equipment with further training or refresher sessions. These errors are avoidable with the right quality education.

Faulty or Low-Quality Blood Drawing Equipment

Last but not least, the equipment itself can be the main contributor to common phlebotomy errors. Some equipment used for blood collection may be defective, expired, or not up to medical standards. For this reason, the preparation of quality supplies is key to ensuring safety, speed, and efficiency. Using collection supplies from reliable manufacturers helps assure accuracy in lab results.

Cascade Health Care proudly supplies high-quality medical tools, supplies, and equipment for safe and effective use in healthcare facilities. We supply a blood collection set from the notable brands of BD Vacutainer® and McKesson to protect patients and maximize comfort. Contact our team with any questions or to seek guidance on the best products for your applications.