Phlebotomy carts are important mobile apparatus used for collecting blood samples. To ensure hygienic and efficient phlebotomy procedures, the carts should meet certain standard requirements so that the phlebotomist can efficiently and safely perform his duties.
Standard Phlebotomy Cart Specifications
* These carts are usually made of stainless steel for durability.
* They should be easy to maneuver and the wheels should be fitted with casters. They may have to be taken in and out of elevators and may have to be carried over thresholds.
* The wheels should lock when the cart is not in use.
* The cart should have an adjustable height for the convenience of the phlebotomist and the patient as well.
* There should be dedicated built-in storage compartments for various supplies. For instance, there should be a glove-storage box and a ‘sharp-collector’ which is a tray for collecting used syringes.
* The cart should have a strong metal base for stability. It should not tilt over when being hurriedly taken to an emergency phlebotomy procedure.
* It is advised that a cart with a seamless surface be chosen. If the surface is seamless, it will be easy to clean.
Safety Standards to follow when using phlebotomy carts:
* The cart must be cleaned daily after use. It is important to clean it even if the cart gets too close to the patient and is soiled with blood. Always have some sanitary wipes ready for such cases.
* Put only as many tubes on the cart as will be required in a day. It is important to frequently check whether there are any expired tubes in the cart.
* It is important that supplies which should remain sterile until the phlebotomy procedure are opened just before their use and not earlier. This applies to items like syringes and transfer equipment among other things.
* No food or drink should be stored in the cart.
* Blood samples should not be kept in the tray. Specimens should be immediately placed in tubes and bio-hazard bags at intervals of 15 to 20 minutes, to make sure there is no contamination.
* The number of bullet tubes should be limited to 10 or less, unless the tray is being taken to the pediatrics section. This is to ensure that there are no tubes that are used after expiration.
It is important that these safety procedures are followed so that phlebotomy procedures can be carried out hygienically. But the phlebotomy carts should also be designed in a way that makes it easier to organize and store the medical supplies required for such procedures. Make sure of that when buying them.