You Want to Stick Me Where? Risks of Arterial Puncture Compared to Venipuncture

Expires March 15, 2019


Video length: 55:35 minutes


While phlebotomists often undergo training to perform arterial puncture, many are not asked to perform arterial puncture for blood gas collection routinely. Accidental arterial puncture is one of the potential complications of venipuncture, but just how much more risky is arterial puncture than venipuncture? Are there different risks associated with the two procedures? In this presentation, Dr. Brad Karon will review and contrast the complications of arterial puncture and venipuncture.


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

  • List the primary risks of venipuncture and arterial puncture.
  • Estimate the frequency of major medical complications related to arterial puncture and venipuncture
  • Describe the arguments for and against the routine performance of the modified Allen test before arterial puncture.

Intended Audience

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


Photo of Brad Karon, M.D.Brad Karon, M.D., Ph.D.
Consultant, Division of Clinical Core Laboratory Services
Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota
Brad Karon, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Co-Director of Laboratory Services.


The following types of credit are offered for this program:

State of California
State of Florida

To obtain credit:

  1. Watch the video.
  2. Complete the posttest and evaluation that launches immediately following the video.
  3. Generate and print your certificate(s).

Note: Participants requesting P.A.C.E. credit, in compliance with ASCLS P.A.C.E. program requirements, must attain a score of 70% or higher on the posttest to obtain a certificate.

Mayo Medical Laboratories is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® program. This program has been approved for a maximum of 1.0 P.A.C.E® contact hours. Level of instruction for this program is intermediate.

Mayo Medical Laboratories is approved as a Continuing Education Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science for State of California and State of Florida credit. Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel has designated this program for Supervision/Administration, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, and Safety credit. The level of instruction for this program is intermediate. This program has been approved for 1.0 contact hour.


MML Education

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