Table 2.

Proper Technique for Capillary (Fingerstick) Lead Sampling*

Preparing for blood collection
 Use well-trained personnel
 Clean work environment, use appropriate waste containers
 All equipment should be within reach
Preparing the finger for puncture
 Personnel should wear examination gloves throughout the procedure
 Thoroughly clean the child's finger with soap and water
 Briefly massage the fleshy portion of the finger gently
 Clean the finger pad to be punctured with an alcohol swab; dry with sterile gauze or a cotton ball
Puncturing the finger
 Grasp the finger and quickly puncture it with a sterile lancet
 Wipe off the first droplet of blood with the sterile gauze or cotton ball
 Let a well-beaded drop of blood form at the puncture site
 Do not let blood run down the finger or onto the fingernail
Specimen collection
 Continue to grasp the finger, touch the tip of the collection container to the beaded drop of blood
 When the container is full, cap or seal the container
 Agitate the specimen to mix the anticoagulant through the blood
 Label and store specimen properly
Common causes of contaminated (falsely elevated) specimens
 Inadequate use of gloves by personnel
 Use of alcohol wipes with lead-based ink
 Inadequate cleansing of the child's finger
 Failure to wipe off first drop of blood
  • * Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1991.1

  • Use of the heel is advised for infants younger than 1 year.