Comparison of capillary blood sampling using an automated incision device with and without warming the heel

J Perinatol. 2002 Mar;22(2):154-8. doi: 10.1038/


Objective: To determine if heel warming prior to heelstick increases the volume of blood collected compared to no warming.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial involving 100 preterm and term infants requiring capillary blood sampling (CBS), randomized to receive warming (Control) (n=50) or nonwarming (Experimental) (n=50).

Results: This sample of infants showed no benefit of warming the heel prior to CBS. Volume of blood, collection time, crying time, and repeat procedures were not different between groups. More infants in the Control group received squeezing during the procedure compared to the Experimental group.

Conclusion: Heel warming prior to CBS may be an unnecessary technique in preterm and term infants that expends nursing time and hospital financial cost.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automation
  • Blood Specimen Collection / instrumentation*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods
  • Capillaries / chemistry*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Safety
  • Female
  • Heating
  • Heel
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Probability
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity