Capillary Puncture vs. Venipuncture: Advantages and Limitations to Using Capillary Blood


Video length: 54 minutes


This “Phlebotomy Webinar” will review the physiologic differences between capillary and venous blood, and discuss advantages and limitations to each specimen type. Also covered will be specific use cases and advantages to using capillary sampling for infants and children, as well as circumstances and specific tests where capillary blood provides advantages over venous blood in adult patients.


Brad Karon, M.D., Ph.D.
Division Chair of Clinical Core Laboratory Services
Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota




Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Review physiologic differences between capillary and venous blood.
  • List situations where capillary blood is an appropriate sample type for infants and children.
  • Describe limitations to the use of capillary blood samples in infants and children.
  • Define unique situations and tests where capillary blood may be the preferred sample type for adult patients.


Intended Audience

This series is appropriate for phlebotomists, phlebotomy managers, phlebotomy educators, and other patient-care staff involved in specimen collection.


Faculty Disclosure

Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.


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This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.