Butterfly Venipuncture

The following instructions are for butterfly (winged infusion set) and/or syringe usage:

  1. Butterfly needle sizes range from 21- to 25- gauge in diameter and ½ to ¾ inches in length. Infants, children, and some adults have small veins, which require using a butterfly with a syringe.
  2. When drawing with a syringe, either alone or in conjunction with a butterfly, evacuated tubes should be placed in appropriate order in a rack before blood collection to be immediately available for transfer.
  3. Remove syringe from sterile packaging and push plunger in and out to ensure smooth movement
  4. Aseptically attach the syringe to the needle or butterfly setup, making sure the plunger is pushed all the way in. Perform the venipuncture procedure. Blood will appear in the hub of the needle if the position is correct. Release the tourniquet and pull slowly on the plunger, taking care that the needle is not withdrawn from the arm. If the plunger is pulled too hard, the red blood cells may be hemolyzed and the vein collapse.
  5. Remove the needle from the patient’s arm, have them hold the cotton ball with pressure; remove the needle from the syringe and dispose of correctly in a sharps container. If using a butterfly, sheath the needle with the safety sheath before disposing in the sharps container. Attach a transfer device to the syringe and immediately begin filling the evacuated tubes in the appropriate order, being careful to mix each tube as it is filled to activate anticoagulants, if appropriate. Allow the blood to flow into the tubes naturally, with the needle aimed toward the side of the tube, do not force as this can cause hemolysis.