Cleansing the skin is an essential step in preparing the arm for blood collection. Improper cleaning can result in bacterial contamination of the product, which can have devastating effects on the product recipient.

Donor Status

Decontamination Solution

not iodine sensitive/allergy

scrub with 0.7% aqueous solution of iodophor compound followed by final prep with 10% iodophor compound

iodine sensitive/allergy

chlorhexidine gluconate and isopropyl alcohol



(1) The area cleaned should extend at least 4 cm from the selected venipuncture point.

(2) Areas of skin scarring or dimpling should be avoided.

(3) If venipuncture will not be done immediately after cleansing, then the site can be covered with a piece of sterile gauze.

(4) None of the following are permitted once the arm has been cleaned:

(4a) Touching the cleaned area with any non-sterile object.

(4b) Repalpating the venipuncture site.

(4c) Letting the patient bend the arm.

(5) If any of the events in item 4 occur, then the arm must be recleaned.


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