(5) The first drop of blood that appears is wiped away before specimens are
taken (see figure 3-4c).
Figure 3-4c. Capillary puncture procedure: Wipe away first drop of blood.
(6) The blood must not be squeezed out since this dilutes it with fluid from
the tissues, thus altering the ratio of cellular elements to fluid, as well as the ratio of
cellular elements to each other.
(7) After the desired specimens have been collected, have the patient hold
a sterile dry gauze pad over the wound until bleeding stops (see figure 3-4d).
Figure 3-4d. Capillary puncture procedure: Apply pressure to the site.
(1) A disposable lancet is a very satisfactory instrument for puncture of the
skin. However, if this is not available a sharp pointed surgical blade is quite suitable.
(2) Do not use the finger on a hand, which has been hanging over the side
of the bed as it is likely to be congested. Edematous or cyanotic areas should not be