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July 8, 1974

Arterial Puncture

JAMA. 1974;229(2):142. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230400018022

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To the Editor.—  Pathologists know better about arterial puncture than clinicians, and what personnel should obtain the samples (228:763, 1974).We started doing arterial punctures in the usual manner. A pathologist or attending physician drew the specimen during daylight hours, and an appropriate physician drew it at other times.Then we taught the technique to ASCP medical technologists. We have now gone the whole distance, and all our medical technologists, medical technicians, and certified laboratory assistants (CLAs) do arterial punctures. We don't teach the technique to CLA students, but do teach those CLAs we employ after graduation who work in the chemistry area.This has been in effect for a year now, with no problems. In fact, from the beginning, some physicians had not done arterial punctures, were not about to start, and were delighted that the technicians became proficient.