Why do Medical Doctors draw blood from veins rather than arteries?

Why do Medical Doctors draw blood from veins rather than arteries?

Although arterial blood sample is occasionally used by doctors, it is typically only done in emergency situations. When they cannot obtain venous access, they need an arterial blood sample for arterial blood gas analysis (ABG) to determine the amount of oxygen and CO2 in the arterial blood (for examples in trauma or otherwise seriously ill patients).

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It is preferable to use venous blood for several reasons.

It is simpler. The veins are many and superficial. The veins that span the length of the upper limb can be seen and felt if you compress the arm in the proximal direction. Typically, the radial artery and the femoral artery are used to draw arterial blood.

If you choose the correct location, veins also have a tendency to be more anchored, which means you won't need to go fishing for them and they won't wiggle away when you try to place the needle. Vein walls are also thinner, which makes it simpler to insert a needle. Novices (like myself) might need to exert a little more energy to get the needle into the artery, and occasionally they accidentally drive the needle through the rear wall.

- Blood drawn from an artery hurts the patient more. Although I haven't had one performed on me, I've heard that even under ideal circumstances, it hurts more than venous sampling. And the doctor might need to because it can be more challenging than venous access do more prodding to obtain entry, which again hurts. You are in effect occluding the radial artery when you draw blood from it. As a result, the hand's alternate arteries serve as its blood vessels. To make sure there will be enough blood flow while taking blood, you can perform the Allen test (compression of the radial and ulnar arteries to temporarily cut off the blood supply followed by release of the ulnar artery to see if circulation returns). The hand could theoretically suffer from ischemia injury if the collateral supply is inadequate.

Once you gain access, blood will start gushing out of the arteries because they have much higher pressure than the veins do (hopefully to your syringe). After you've removed the needle, you should exert pressure for several minutes to the area in order to lessen bruising. As the blood sample clots, your syringe becomes less and less useful. So you make a trade-off between getting the task done and risking injury.

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- The doctor typically does not take your blood when you are having it drawn. In both primary care and hospital settings, phlebotomists, health care assistants, and nurses take a significant portion of the blood. Typically, they are not trained to perform arterial blood sample, or it is not part of their job description (with perhaps the exception of ICU nurses or specialist respiratory nurses). Thus, it requires a doctor, whose services you may or may not be able to use, to take arterial samples when they are not required.

- The physician or nurse who is taking your blood at the hospital will frequently takes advantage of the situation to insert a line for fluids and medication. In general, medicines don't enter arteries. If you don't want to lose a limb.

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