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What Is Phlebotomy and Why Is It Important?

Phlebotomy is a term that refers to the process whereby an incision is made in the vein, with an aim of drawing blood from the patient to be used for medical reasons. Another name for this process is venipuncture. Phlebotomists may also use dermal puncture, which is the process of puncturing the top layer of skin and collecting the blood that runs out. Phlebotomy is a practice that traces its roots to the early Egypt whereby blood was mainly removed from the body through the vein for therapeutic purposes. The procedure is now carried out with the primary aim of collecting blood specimens that are taken to the laboratory for analysis. It is important for professionals in phlebotomy to select the suitable vein, the point of inserting the needle, so that they can recover blood. After the needle is inserted, the right amount of blood must be drawn without causing any injuries.

Phlebotomy is important because science has discovered that one of the keys to understanding an illness and providing proper treatment lies in the blood cells of an individual. Taking blood samples to the laboratory for a thorough analysis helps in diagnosing and monitoring a patient’s health status. The results from this blood analysis are used in prescribing the right treatment or changing one that is not effective. In addition, the blood that is drawn through phlebotomy can also benefit a patient who is need of a transfusion as a result of illness or injuries. Blood that is collected during the procedure can also be used for research purposes, which gives more insight about diseases and treatment procedures. Phlebotomy plays a critical role in ensuring all the blood collected is properly packaged and labeled for proper identification. It also ensures that all the incoming blood specimens are accepted and routed to the relevant departments for further tests and analysis.

A phlebotomist will usually draw blood meant for research purposes and give it to the relevant physician or laboratory to carry out further analysis and tests. Certain conditions make constant phlebotomy a necessity. One example of such a condition is patients whose blood iron levels increase excessively within a short period of time. This is a serious condition that may need constant monitoring and treatment to prevent any adverse effects. Patients with polycythemia, which refers to the body overproducing red blood cells, may require regular phlebotomy. It may be necessary to remove blood from the body to minimize its viscosity.

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