What is a blood specimen collection?
A blood specimen collection is the act of obtaining a blood sample for laboratory tests, analysis or donation. This practice is also referred to as Phlebotomy, and the person responsible for collecting and handling the blood sample, is a phlebotomist. The collection of a blood specimen is also referred to as "drawing blood". The practice of drawing blood is the most common minimally invasive medical procedure performed around the world today and has been for centuries. Although technique, equipment and trained personnel vary in medical settings around the world, there are two major concerns that arise with phlebotomy: 1. Due to blood borne pathogens, the person obtaining a blood specimen faces significant health risks and 2. If the blood specimen collection is done poorly i.e. bad technique or is contaminated it can lead to misinformed health care decisions, further testing or repeat testing. As a result of these and other risks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines or "best practices" in drawing blood to minimize these risks. I have provided the link to those guidelines below.
Blood specimen collections are when a doctor or phlebotomist ("a health worker trained in drawing venous blood for testing or donation") inserts a needle into someones vein, punches a small hole into their fingertip, or punctures a small hole into the foot(used for infants mainly) to take their blood for lab testing. The testing could be for anything ranging from plasma levels, erythrocyte levels (white blood cell count), diseases, and many other things.