What Causes Bruising After A Blood Draw?
Every phlebotomist must be prepared to deal with a variety of issues during blood donation, including bruising. As a patient, you might quickly become concerned about bruising that takes place after a blood draw. What will help is to educate yourself on what causes bruising after a blood draw and How to Prevent Bruising During Blood Donation.
In the majority of cases, having bruising after a blood draw is fairly typical and normal. One explanation for what causes bruising after a blood draw is that a small portion of blood might leak into the surrounding skin as the needle is taken out during the process of a vein being accessed for a blood sample. It’s more likely to occur with a large-gauge needle or when multiple tries or pokes are required to get the blood sample. Also, lack of applied pressure at the venipuncture site, damage to the blood vessel, or lifting heavy objects after a blood draw may also be a contributor to bruising.
Bruising After A Blood Donation
As a reminder, there’s most likely nothing to be concerned about when bruising occurs after a patient’s blood is drawn during blood donation. It’s important the patient applies pressure to the site with a cotton pad after the blood draw and that the phlebotomist uses best practices so the process goes smoothly from start to finish. It’s about working together to confirm it’s a comfortable experience and that bruising is less likely to form. A bruise may spread out and turn various colors before it fads and will typically completely disappear after a few weeks.
If you do have a bruise, then avoid heavy lifting and use ice on the area as necessary. You should also be aware that it’s common for the bruise to spread away from the donation area as well. The donor or patient is more likely to develop a bruise if the venipuncture procedure was more difficult than usual to perform.
PhlebotomyU offers several courses. In our CPT I classes, students will receive hands on experience and practice this procedure in clinical and classroom settings. Contact PhlebotomyU today to learn which course is best for you.
Preventing Bruising During Blood Donation
The good news is that there are actions and steps that can be taken to help prevent bruising during blood donation. It’s best for any patient to wear loose-fitting clothing when donating blood. You want to avoid causing congestion in the vein and increasing the chances of bruising. The reason a phlebotomist will use a cotton ball and band-aid after a blood draw is that the pressure helps the bleeding stop and decreases the risk of bruising. Be sure to use gentle movements after a blood draw because heavy movements and lifting will likely irritate the spot and exasperate any bruising. You can always use ice or a cold pack to help reduce any pain or discomfort if bruising does occur. It’s also advised that you use Tylenol for pain relief but not until after 24 hours have passed.
You should expect any bruising or discomfort to begin to disappear after a day or two. However, contact a medical professional right away if you notice swelling, inflammation, and severe pain in the area. You should know that these types of instances are quite rare and unlikely. Although some bruising may occur and is normal, overall a blood draw is a safe and necessary practice that comes with minimal risk.
As for the phlebotomist doing the blood draw, it’s important to puncture only the uppermost wall of the vein. Use only the major superficial veins and remove the tourniquet before removing the needle. Finally, you want to make sure the needle fully penetrates the uppermost wall of the vein and that you apply pressure to the venipuncture site right away.
Treating A Bruise
If you do get a bruise and don’t like the look or feel of it then you may want to consider treating it. It all begins by making sure enough firm pressure is applied to the area once the needle is removed and keeping the bandage on for a few hours after the blood draw. Put an ice pack or cold compress on the impacted area for about 20 minutes a couple of times over the course of the first 24 hours. For the second 24 hours after your blood is drawn, you should switch from an ice pack to a warm compress. You can also apply the warm compress for about 20 minutes at a time a few times throughout the day. If you do experience bruising during blood donation then keep reminding yourself that it’s normal to do so and to remember what precautions and measures you can take before, during, and after a blood draw.
Enroll at PhlebotomyU Today
After achieving your CPT1 certificate at PhlebotomyU, you will be ready to find your dream phlebotomy job. As a nationally accredited phlebotomy training program, PhlebotomyU prepares its students with the skills they need to succeed afterwards including career services , a phlebotomy internship, and more. Interested? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.