Venepuncture should only be undertaken by authorised and trained personnel. If local anaesthetic is used, this should be a licensed medicinal product and injected in a manner which avoids any chance of donor-to-donor cross-infection (e.g. using individual disposable syringes and needles). A record of the batch number(s) should be made at each blood collection session and be capable of being related to individual donors.
Containers of local anaesthetic should be inspected for any leakage and if glass, inspected for cracks. Any suspect containers should be rejected.
Unused material must be discarded at the end of each donor session.
An aseptic technique must be used for drawing up the local anaesthetic into the syringe and the needle must be changed prior to the injection of the local anaesthetic.
Items used for venepuncture must be sterile, single-use and disposable. If the dry outer wrapping of sterile packs becomes wet the contents must not be used. Prior to use, session staff must ensure that the materials used for venepuncture are sterile, in date and suitable for the procedure to be undertaken. The sterile donor needle should not be uncovered and its tamper-proof cover should be checked for integrity immediately prior to the venepuncture.
As soon as the venepuncture has been performed, the clamp on the bleed line must be released.
It is important that a clean, skilful venepuncture is carried out to ensure the collection of a full, clot-free unit of blood suitable for the preparation of labile blood components.
The tubing attached to the needle should be taped to hold the needle in place during the donation.
At the start of the donation 30 mL (up to 45 mL in some circumstances) of blood should be diverted into a pouch. It is recommended that this pouch has a means of access opposite the entry line which allows blood to be sampled for haematological and serological testing without compromising the environmental integrity of the blood in the main pack.