Most doctors draw blood in their clinics and ask us to pick up the samples. However, as a service to our clients, PathLab does provide blood collection at all of our laboratory locations, using experienced phlebotomists. Informed consent is required for the venipuncture procedure and testing on samples taken.
For patients attending our laboratories, implicit consent is given by presenting themselves for phlebotomy with a doctor’s request form and then presenting their arm(s) for venipuncture. Drawing blood is a blind invasive procedure with known risks and side effects during or after collection may occur. The WHO Guidelines on Drawing Blood publication states that serious adverse effects of phlebotomy (such as loss of consciousness) are rare. However, more common side effects include pain or bruising at the site of puncture (hematomas), temporary nerve damage, and fainting.
If the patient experiences light-headedness or sharp pain during phlebotomy, they should inform us immediately, and our protocol is to pull the needle out immediately and not re-attempt to draw the blood. We will notify the referring client and cancel the tests. Difficult draws due to small or deep veins, dehydration, or collapsing or rolling veins may require more than one attempt. In the event of a difficult draw, if we can collect no satisfactory sample after three attempts in adults or two attempts in pediatric patients, PathLab will seek the doctor’s and patient’s consent to make a further attempt or cancel the tests. We recommend that doctors who use our phlebotomy service inform their patients about the procedure and the known risks.
The phlebotomy procedure is voluntary, and we will not force any patient to have blood drawn, should they be hesitant. PathLab phlebotomists always perform this task to the best of their ability, following professionally-recognized protocols.
PathLab accepts no liability for known side effects related to this procedure when conducted using well-established methods and performed according to recognized standards of care.
PathLab will not knowingly disclose laboratory results to any unauthorized person. Results are typically given only to the referral doctor or medical institution. However, we may also provide reports to the patient with the doctor's instructions and proper identification by the patient. Patients that wish to have a report copy should ask their doctor rather than ask the laboratory directly. The doctor may then indicate "Copy of results to the patient" on the request form.
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