General Question

FeelTheBern's avatar

Is this normal for blood donation?

Asked by FeelTheBern (368points) November 2nd, 2015

I donated blood on Friday, and now come around Monday, it’s /heavily/ bruised and it just started bleeding again. I know the person dug a bit. But it was my first time and it’s rather unsettling.

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9 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Bruising is not unusual. It usually starts not long after the blood draw and yes, it can stick around for a couple of days.

The hole opening up again – that’s sort of odd. Call the phone number on the paper that they gave you.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Sounds to me that the nurse tore the vein as they “dug a bit.” Probably a newbie nurse.

You don’t say which extremity the wound is. I’m assuming it is the arm. You don;t say how much you are bleeding, so I’m assuming because you’re still conscious, and A/O enough to write competently that it is not too bad, just annoying.

If you find it too worrisome or annoying, apply a pressure bandage and don’t take any blood thinners like aspirin or St. John’s Wort for a few days. If you are taking prescription blood thinners, you shouldn’t have given blood in the first place and you need to call the doctor who prescribed them before you stop taking them.

A pressure bandage is simple to make. For a wound this size, take a couple of gauze 4×4s and fold them twice so they become very thick 2×2s. Wipe the area with another 2×2 soaked with whatever antiseptic you have around:: leftover Betadine from a past injury, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or hard liquor. Apply the folded 4×4s directly to the wound. Wrap the wound around your arm a few times tautly with a 4in or 10cm wide strip of gauze, but not so tight that the distal part of your arm becomes discolored or loses feeling or pulse. Then fasten the wrap with tape or tie it so that the tension is maintained. Change with a new bandage if you have the material. Examine the bandage for fresh red blood are any discolored exudant. Examine the wound for radiating redness, increased swelling, discolored exudant. That’s the Cadillac version.

Most people, unless they are accident prone, don’t have 4×4s or rolls of gauze laying around the house in sterile packaging unless they are accident prone or have children. So, substitute the folded 4×4s and gauze strip with non-synthetic, absorbent, clean rags. Soak the clean fabric that you are substituting for the folded 4×4s with a ~half inch (1cm+) of waded up fabric in your available antiseptic and apply. Rip a strip of fabric 4 inches wide and long enough to wrap around your arm at least 4 times. It doesn’t have to be sterile, but it should be clean. Wrap it tautly around your arm 3 times as described above, then rip it down the middle and give the ends two twists so they won’t rip further under tension. Then bring the ends around to the side of of the pressure pack and tie it off with a square knot. Ta-da! Homemade pressure bandage.

These are good for puncture wounds of all sizes and are often used in field-expediencies including gun shot and shrapnel wounds to the extremities and even the chest. They often stop the bleeding entirely or slow bleeding enough to buy precious time until the patient can get to a doctor and a place equipped to deal with the injury. Knowing how to properly apply a pressure bandage is a good thing. .

In your case, the bleeding should stop in the next 24 hours. If after 48 hours your bandage still shows frank, red blood, or signs of infection, you should go to a clinic.

Man, I got my hands on some good coffee here.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Lousy editing time.

I wasn’t very clear on a couple of things:

Dressing changes should be made every 24 hours to give the wound a fighting chance of healing.

Soak the dressing with water until it falls off, rather than pulling it off dry. When applying anticeptic on the first change and thereafter, pat the wound, don’t wipe. This will prevent reopening a healing wound.

By “two twists” I meant Half Knot

If there is no antiseptic available, you can use soap and water to clean the wound, but this is the least desirable. If you are using bar soap, be sure to thoroughly clean the bar by rubbing it under running water before using it. Rinse the wound afterwards with clean water before applying the bandage.

filmfann's avatar

I never had that happen, though I have given blood many times.
Go to the doctor. It sounds serious.

Response moderated (Spam)
gondwanalon's avatar

Think about it. A huge needle is being inserted into your vein. Some blood will leak out of the vein into the adjacent tissue. The more adjusting of the needle that is done by the phlebotomist generally the more blood will escape. Also your activity level after the blood donation as well as your blood’s ability to clot is also a factor in forming s hematoma. When the amount of escaped blood is large enough to be seen visually it is called a hematoma. A small hematoma is nothing to be concerned about. A huge or gigantic hematoma could be problematic and very painful. You didn’t mention pain. But after over 2 days the wound caused by the needle should not be bleeding. Perhaps your blood’s ability to clot has been effected by your diet, medications, supplements or some other reason. It would be a good idea to mention your blood’s slow clotting time to your doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

I would tell your doctor and have them do a platelet and running time test. If the bleeding stopped again I don’t think you need to be panicked, but it opening back up days later doesn’t sound normal to me.

Rarebear's avatar

Put a pressure dressing on it and change it when it gets dirty. All bleeding stops eventually.

CWOTUS's avatar

All bruises are is some form of subcutaneous bleeding. That is, bleeding under the skin.

If the bruise continues to grow or darken, or if it becomes painful, then by all means seek medical attention, as those symptoms indicate an ongoing and potentially worsening problem. (Not life threatening, but hey, who wants to live with painful bruises?) But if the color is going back to normal and the area of the bruise is shrinking, then a normal healing process is underway, and there should be nothing to worry about.

Next time you donate, you might explain that you’ve had this problem and request an experienced nurse to administer the procedure to help avoid this happening again. In my lifetime I’ve donated over 3 gallons of blood, and this is going to happen from time to time. It’s unfortunate that it happened on your first time, but it should be no big problem.

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