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The Butterfly

I sent out some announcements for our blog last week and received some nice responses from colleagues and former students. I heard from Francy Van Dyke who graduated from one of my earliest classes in Peoria, back when the Earth was forming (sorry, Francy). One of the facilities she works with prohibits… 
…home health care nurses from collecting prothrombin time specimens using butterfly infusion set needles. She asked why this was being done.

Based on CLSI document H21-A4, butterfly needles are acceptable so long as you account for the air space within the tubing by collecting a discard tube ahead of the specimen. It may be the facility was finding it difficult to educate home health care personnel in proper collection and decided to just outlaw butterflies. Francy did a round with a home health aid last week and found about half the patients required butterfly sticks. Does anyone else prevent butterfly sticks? Geo.

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