Capillary blood sampling: national recommendations on behalf of the Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine

Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2015 Oct 15;25(3):335-58. doi: 10.11613/BM.2015.034. eCollection 2015.


Capillary blood sampling is a medical procedure aimed at assisting in patient diagnosis, management and treatment, and is increasingly used worldwide, in part because of the increasing availability of point-of-care testing. It is also frequently used to obtain small blood volumes for laboratory testing because it minimizes pain. The capillary blood sampling procedure can influence the quality of the sample as well as the accuracy of test results, highlighting the need for immediate, widespread standardization. A recent nationwide survey of policies and practices related to capillary blood sampling in medical laboratories in Croatia has shown that capillary sampling procedures are not standardized and that only a small proportion of Croatian laboratories comply with guidelines from the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) or the World Health Organization (WHO). The aim of this document is to provide recommendations for capillary blood sampling. This document has been produced by the Working Group for Capillary Blood Sampling within the Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Our recommendations are based on existing available standards and recommendations (WHO Best Practices in Phlebotomy, CLSI GP42-A6 and CLSI C46-A2), which have been modified based on local logistical, cultural, legal and regulatory requirements. We hope that these recommendations will be a useful contribution to the standardization of capillary blood sampling in Croatia.

Keywords: blood specimen collection; capillary blood; preanalytical phase; recommendations; standardization.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biochemistry / organization & administration*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods
  • Blood Specimen Collection / standards*
  • Capillaries
  • Containment of Biohazards / standards
  • Croatia
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Disinfection / standards
  • Gloves, Protective
  • Hand Disinfection
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Infection Control / standards
  • Medical Laboratory Science / organization & administration*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Patient Identification Systems
  • Societies, Scientific / standards*