College of American Pathologists

  Press Release


Published on October 29, 2010

Contact: Sue Masaracchia-Roberts
Phone: (847) 832-7319

CAP Publication Offers Phlebotomy Fundamentals

(Northfield, IL) In clinical laboratories, a safe work environment and appropriate training reduce the risk of accidents, infections, and trauma. The fact that 800,000 health care workers report needle stick or sharp object injuries annually is staggering. To address this, the CAP Press recently published the 13th Edition of So You’re Going to Collect a Blood Specimen: An Introduction to Phlebotomy, which outlines ways to diminish risks and reinforces the importance of the phlebotomist’s role in health safety.

Edited by Frederick L. Kiechle, MD, PhD, FCAP, the book focuses on fundamental phlebotomy procedures. These include how to minimize patient discomfort, ensure specimen integrity, and protect against potential infectious disease hazards, as all blood must be considered potentially hazardous. The text reviews how to improve skill, inspire confidence, and present a professional appearance. It also focuses on using Standard Precautions to protect both the patient and the phlebotomist.

Often the patient’s only laboratory contact, the phlebotomist, is the fact of the laboratory. The book underscores that only a phlebotomist can ensure proper specimen identification and affirm the correct type of specimen collected at the right time, critical to ensure patient safety.

“My staff and my students and I were impressed with the new edition of So You’re Going to Collect a Blood Specimen,” said Kent Lewandrowski, MD, FCAP, of Massachusetts General Hospital. “Many phlebotomy texts are too complicated for introductory programs, but this book is clear, concise, and to the point.”

The laboratory technical director, George F Souza, BS, MT, CPI, refers to the book for special draws. “This edition has a very good section on pediatrics, which we have found useful for a reference when we are called upon to provide pediatric services.”

With clear illustrations and advice on what not to do along with correct procedures, phlebotomists can learn proper techniques. “I really like this book and the clear diagrams,” said phlebotomy student Laura Feldman. “From another reference, I was confused about angle of draw, and now…well, I am not!”

The 13th Edition of So You’re Going to Collect a Blood Specimen: An Introduction to Phlebotomy includes the latest standards and regulations from the Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute (CLSI), the Joint Commission (TJC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

For more information about this and other CAP Press offerings or educational programs, visit, and click on “Reference Resources and Publications,” and the “Books from CAP Press” or contact the CAP Customer Contact Center at 800-323-4040 option 1, then 2.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is a medical society serving about 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost-effective patient care.