Potassium Results Your Physicians Can Trust: Introduction (01:47)
Objectives include: understanding the importance of accurate potassium levels; identification of 13 preanalytical variables that falsely elevate potassium; and understanding of how falsely elevated levels can change patient management.
Pay attention to collection variables and investigate all. Variables healthcare professionals cannot control include: patient-dependent variables and drug interference.
Contributors to falsely elevated potassium levels include: patient identification and specimen labeling; skin-puncture prep; fist pumping; prolonged tourniquet application
During Collection (06:07)
Contributors to falsely elevated potassium levels include: IV infusions; drawing from a VAD; Benzalkonium heparin catheters; post-transfusion effect; order of draw; pouring EDTA tube into serum or heparin tube; and hemolysis.
Contributors to falsely elevated potassium levels include: comparing capillary results vs. venous results; delays in processing; refrigeration; centrifuging with stoppers removed; centrifuging a second time; and improper centrifugation.
Hemolysis is the most common reason chemistry samples are rejected. See benchmark information on hemolysis rates.
Preventing Hemolysis (08:53)
Ways to prevent hemolysis include: limit line draws; limit line draws to larger cannulas; use a syringe if you must draw during an IV start; break the seal and pull slowly when using a syringe; do not forcibly fill a tube; avoid frothing; and invert tubes gently.
Preventing Hemolysis: Part Two (04:21)
Ways to prevent hemolysis include: terminate sluggish draws; avoid 25 gauge needles; assure proper centrifugation; investigate pneumatic transport contribution; assure proper storage/transit temps; and minimize tourniquet application.
Review the variables that can elevate potassium levels and hear tips for aggressively addressing the issue.
Additional Resources (00:60)
See additional resources on phlebotomy information.
Credits: Potassium Results Your Physicians Can Trust (00:27)
Credits: Potassium Results Your Physicians Can Trust
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