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Time to change phlebotomy? A short story
  1. Claire Connellan,
  2. Lisa Dann,
  3. Orla Flanagan
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claire Connellan, Department of Paediatrics, Galway University Hospital, Galway H91 YR71, Ireland; claire3connellan{at}

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Children can find hospitals and procedures stressful. This is particularly true for children with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These children can find phlebotomy distressing and often need repeated testing due to medications and screening tests for associated diseases.1 2 Social stories are simple, picture stories that are used by children with ASD and intellectual disabilities to prepare them for everyday activities, for example, bed-time or school. With the success of visual cues and social stories in other areas of management, we elected to introduce this for phlebotomy. At the time of writing, we were unable to find published literature on their use in phlebotomy.


A social story was constructed. This was a …

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  • CC and LD contributed equally.

  • Contributors CC and LD contributed equally to this paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. A supplementary figure has been added.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.