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Blood Sampling Home
This microsite provides information on blood sampling from animals to help laboratory staff choose the most appropriate technique for removal of blood in an humane and efficient manner. The original material was collated by GlaxoSmithKline and donated to the NC3Rs. It has been edited and expanded with assistance from colleagues from the Institute of Animal Technology, academia, industry and animal welfare organisations.
Removal of blood is one of the most common procedures performed on laboratory animals, e.g.:
Use of a technique appropriate for the purpose and the species, by a trained and competent member of staff, is essential for ensuring that any pain, distress or discomfort is kept to a minimum. Minimisation of such adverse effects is important for scientific as well as ethical and legal reasons, since they can cause biological changes which may affect the blood sample, and hence the validity of the research results and the number of animals used to achieve the scientific objective.
The microsite contains information on surgical, non-surgical and terminal methods, including removal of blood from veins, arteries, by cannulation, by cardiac puncture and by decapitation, as appropriate for the species. It aims to assist with refinement by:
Inclusion of a particular technique in this microsite should not be seen as endorsement of its use by the NC3Rs. In the UK, it is for individual researchers, in conjunction with the Home Office Inspector, NVS, NACWO and other members of the ERP, to decide the most appropriate site, volume and frequency of blood sampling, and these should then be detailed in the project licence. The choice of technique will depend on several factors, including:
This microsite now includes information on refining the use of vascular catheters (added July 2009).
For information on automated blood sampling and the 3Rs, see the article by Holmberg and Pelletier on our main site (added May 2009).
Blood sampling from large animals (e.g. dogs) for DNA collection can be avoided with Oragene-ANIMAL from DNA Genotek, Inc. The DNA is collected non-invasively via a sponge that absorbs saliva in the mouth.
The NC3Rs welcomes your views on this microsite, so that it can be expanded and improved. Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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