When Is The Best Time To Release The Tourniquet During Venipuncture

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When the patient is lying on his/her back, either with or without pre-injection pressure. The most ideal time for venipuncture is when the patient is positioned supine (on their backs) and secured to an appropriate device (e.g., bed, table). This will make it easier to continue anesthesia care after venipuncture has been performed. Once an epidural catheter or peripheral nerve block injection has been performed, the patient may be flipped onto his/her side in order to facilitate administration of intravenous fluids. A tourniquet should not be applied until venipuncture has occurred; once a tourniquet application occurs during shoulder or arm positioning, ongoing procedure difficulty can occur if blood flow cannot adequately return through severed vessels.

Should I use my fingertips as opposed to gauze pads? Is there any advantage between one method over another? Why do some hospitals use only gauze pads while others continue to use fingers?