For patients in critical care units, blood can be drawn with a pediatric syringe instead of a standard 3 mL syringe, according to new research presented at the American Society for Clinical Pathology 2015 Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif and reported by Medscape.

Phill Jensen, laboratory manager at University of Utah Health Sciences in Salt Lake City, and colleagues compared blood collected with two syringes, a 3 cc and a 1 cc that used the same concentrations of heparin.

Over a period of 65 days, a standard adult 3 mL syringe was used to collect 741 specimens, which were then sent to the blood gas laboratory. Then, after a 10-day washout period, and over a period of 68 days, another 839 blood specimens were collected with a pediatric 1 mL syringe.

There was no difference in specimen integrity or in the need to repeat or reacquire specimens between the two syringes; however, the pediatric syringe clearly reduced the volume of blood drawn.