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Recommendations for blood sampling in emergency departments from the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM), European Society for Emergency Nursing (EuSEN), and European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) Working Group for the Preanalytical Phase. Executive summary.

AIM: Blood Sampling Guidelines have been developed to target European emergency medicine-related professionals involved in the blood sampling process (e.g. physicians, nurses, phlebotomists working in the ED), as well as laboratory physicians and other related professionals. The guidelines population focus on adult patients. The development of these blood sampling guidelines for the ED setting is based on the collaboration of three European scientific societies that have a role to play in the preanalytical phase process: EuSEN, EFLM, and EUSEM. The elaboration of the questions was done using the PICO procedure, literature search and appraisal was based on the GRADE methodology. The final recommendations were reviewed by an international multidisciplinary external review group.

RESULTS: The document includes the elaborated recommendations for the selected sixteen questions. Three in pre-sampling, eight regarding sampling, three post-sampling, and two focus on quality assurance. In general, the quality of the evidence is very low, and the strength of the recommendation in all the questions has been rated as weak. The working group in four questions elaborate the recommendations, based mainly on group experience, rating as good practice.

CONCLUSIONS: The multidisciplinary working group was considered one of the major contributors to this guideline. The lack of quality information highlights the need for research in this area of the patient care process. The peculiarities of the emergency medical areas need specific considerations to minimise the possibility of errors in the preanalytical phase.

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