h. Select Vein for Venipuncture. Select the vein as follows:
Palpate or feel the arm by using your fingers to locate an appropriate
(2) Select one of the prominent veins in the antecubital fossa of the arm.
The antecubital fossa is the hollow or depressed area located in the joint between the
arm and the forearm.
(a) The median cubital vein, though not always visible, is usually large
and palpable. Since it is well supported and the least apt to roll (move away from
pressure), it is the vein of choice for venipuncture.
(b) The second choice is the cephalic vein. The basilic vein, though
oftentimes the most prominent, is apt to be the least desirable because it tends to roll
easily, making venipuncture difficult.
i. Position Protective Pad. Place the protective pad under the patient's
extended elbow and forearm to protect his clothing and the work surface.
j. Prepare Sponge for Use. Open the betadine or alcohol pledget (sponge)
and 2-inch by 2-inch gauze and place the open package within easy reach.
k. Apply Constricting Band. Use the following procedures to apply the
constricting band (see figure 2-3).
(1) Place the constricting band around the limb approximately two inches
above the proposed venipuncture site.
Figure 2-3. Constricting band.