Guide to capillary heelstick blood sampling in infants

Adv Neonatal Care. 2007 Aug;7(4):171-8. doi: 10.1097/01.ANC.0000286333.67928.04.


Capillary blood sampling is an essential method of blood collection performed by nurses of all skill levels to obtain samples for routine laboratory tests in neonates. Accuracy of results depends on proper heelstick and sample collection technique. Recent advances including development of devices designed specifically for heelstick capillary blood sampling and research into expanded safe heel capillary sampling sites are discussed. A step-by-step guide to capillary blood sampling is outlined along with evidence-based practice incorporating neonatal-appropriate disinfection and nonpharmacological analgesia that contribute to improved infant safety and comfort during and after the procedure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection / adverse effects
  • Blood Specimen Collection / instrumentation
  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / nursing
  • Capillaries*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Equipment Design
  • Heel / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infection Control
  • Neonatal Nursing / methods*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Posture
  • Skin Care