How to Tie a Tourniquet for Blood Work


A tourniquet used for venipuncture restricts blood flow. The tourniquet causes a vein to swell, which makes the vein easily accessible for blood drawing. It's important when using a tourniquet to not leave the band on for more than one minute.The tourniquet can become painful to your patient, as well as lead to hemoconcentration. As indicated by Phlebotomy, hemoconcentration is the decrease of plasma, which results in an increase of red blood cells. Hemoconcentration can cause inaccuracies in blood work.

Things You'll Need

  • Disposable tourniquet
  • Gloves
  • Wash you hands before applying the tourniquet. Put on a pair of medical gloves.

  • Ask your patient to sit with her arms in a flat position. Look at both arms on your patient to determine which arm will have the best veins. One arm may provide more accessible veins than the other.

  • Tie the tourniquet 3 to 4 inches above the intended stick site (above the elbow) after locating a good vein. Ask your patient to make a fist. Don't allow him to pump his hand.

  • Observe your patient's skin for an enlarged blue vein. Touch the vein to ensure that the vein springs back like a rubber band. If the vein doesn't spring, locate another vein for use. Once you locate an acceptable puncture site, you are ready to draw blood.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can't assess a vein for venipuncture and it takes more than one minute to find a vein, release your tourniquet and try again.
  • If you can't access a vein in two attempts, ask for another phlebotomist to access the patient's vein and draw the blood.
  • Don't use a latex tourniquet if your patient tells you he's allergic to latex. Latex allergies can be serious.
  • Don't tie a tourniquet to the point of pinching the patient's skin. This can damage your patient's nerves.
  • If you have a patient who faints during your procedure, immediately remove the tourniquet and use ammonium salts to revive your patient.
  • Don't apply a tourniquet where there's visible scarring of the skin.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit washing hands image by JASON WINTER from fist image by Du...¡an Zidar from
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Phlebotomy Injuries

    Phlebotomy, the science of drawing a patient's blood for laboratory purposes, can harm the patient or the phlebotomist if the phlebotomist fails...

  • How to Draw Blood

    There are precise steps that must be followed when a health care worker draws blood. These steps protect the patient, ensure the...

  • How to Avoid Hemolyzing As a Phlebotomist

    Phlebotomist's are responsible for drawing blood from patients for testing at a clinical laboratory. Hemolysis occurs when red blood cells breakdown and...

  • How to Make Finding a Vein Easy

    Finding a viable vein for injections or IV's can be one of the most difficult tasks for beginning nursing students as well...

  • Complications for Phlebotomy Procedures

    Phlebotomy---the practice of taking samples of patients' blood and other body tissue for medical testing, research or blood-banking---is usually performed by a...

  • Steps for Venipuncture

    Venipuncture, or phlebotomy, is the process used for drawing blood. Since certain tests may require special collection methods, always follow your organizations...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!