Aim. To compare prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time values in concurrent blood samples obtained by direct venipuncture and from a peripheral venous catheter.
Method. Concurrent blood samples obtained from catheters and by direct venipuncture were studied. Venipuncture samples were labelled as the reference (control) group and the peripheral venous catheter samples as the experimental group. A 21-gauge needle was used in the venipuncture method and 18G, 20G, 22G catheters were used in the peripheral venous catheters method. In each case, after the blood samples were drawn by venipuncture and peripheral venous catheter the needles were drawn out, 1·8 ml of blood was added to 0·2 ml of citrate to give a 2 ml sample. The tube was shaken gently to mix the blood and citrate well.
Results. No clinically significant difference between prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time values were seen in the blood samples drawn by venipuncture and peripheral venous catheter methods.
Discussion. It is recommended that peripheral venous catheter can be used for patients with high bleeding risk if they have a long hospital stay and frequent blood samples are needed.
Relevance to clinical practice. In clinical applications, nurses may prefer the use of peripheral venous catheter to venipuncture both for the comfort of the patients who get anticoagulation therapy and for the prevention of the risks as a result of venipuncture. Application of peripheral venous catheter eliminates the risks of superficial bleeding, irritation, pain and anxiety caused by venipuncture.