Drawing blood always leaves a bruise? - Mothering Forums
Women's Health > Drawing blood always leaves a bruise?
coracle's Avatar coracle 12:16 AM 12-06-2002
I had some blood drawn today, by the same nurse who always does it, and I got an ugly bruise from it as usual. This time the bandaid and cotton ball formed a crease of skin an inch away from the vein and the blood under the skin formed a lump in the crease - yuck! Is it usual to get a bruise after blood is drawn? Should I rock the boat by asking for a different nurse next time? I don't have hemophilia, tho I do bruise sort of easily. She puts the BP cuff on me and has me pump my fist to get the vein up.

Any thoughts? Should I ice afterward or something? Just wish I didn't get these big bruises from it. Thanks for any insight.


Elphaba's Avatar Elphaba 12:33 AM 12-06-2002
i think a lot depends on who does it. i've been stuck where you couldn't even tell afterwards, and i've been stuck and looked like a battered woman.
Clarity's Avatar Clarity 12:52 AM 12-06-2002
and always apply pressure afterwards yourself (not just the cotton ball) for a few minutes. Failing to do that, or a tech who goes through my vein, is when I usually get bruises. If you have a tendency to them, I find I like butterflys a lot better though some techs don't like to use them
LaLaLuna's Avatar LaLaLuna 03:55 AM 12-06-2002
Why on earth does she have you put the BP cuff on to get your vein up? Are your veins that invisible? You bruise because the vein "bleeds out" after the needle is withdrawn, which is why you ought to apply pressure yourself afterwards (as Clarity said)- at least five minutes if you bruise easily. I'm pretty sure that the cuff is causing it, though- does she leave it on while she draws the blood? Are these arterial blood draws or veins?

I've never had anyone put a cuff on me to find a vein and I have pretty hard to find veins- maybe you should mention this when you request a different nurse next time.
oceanbaby's Avatar oceanbaby 04:52 AM 12-06-2002
I've always put arnica gel on afterwards (after the pricked area has stopped bleeding) to control bruising. It seems to work for me.
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 05:59 AM 12-06-2002
My Dh has very hard to find veins, they even called in the head nurse to find one, and they never used a blood pressure cuff. They did tie the stretchy thingy around his arm VERY tight however. Eventually they just had to guess where his vein was and jab him. He bruised SO horribly, and it stayed for over a week!!!

One of my veins are easy to find, so I don't bruise badly at all.

Sorta off topic, but thought I'd share this anyways... I did have one time, where I was donating plasma, have the incoming needle not in a vein and my arm filled with saline, puffing up my entire forearm and part of my upper arm before they could stop it. That hurt SO bad. And I had a HUGE BIG bruise from that forever (over half my arm was black and blue and purple)...
MysticHealerMom's Avatar MysticHealerMom 06:43 AM 12-06-2002
I vote to try a different nurse. I think she's got bad technique. I've had it both ways. And a lot of bruises. Aparently I've only got 2 good veins, and they're both in my left arm. And now that I know that, I tell them so they don't go sticking my right arm in vain, heh.

Last time was awful, I had a bumpy bruise, which is awful in the crook of your arm, and it lasted for a week. And she was describing how she'd over stuck the needle and the blood was drawing slowly, and it hurt while she was doing it. Not information I needed to know while lying there under a needle, darn it! And DH told them I was a needle wimp before hand! gr.

Although, the last few times I didn't even faint OR get light headed, woo for me
daylily's Avatar daylily 10:33 AM 12-06-2002
My husband worked as a phlebotomist in a hospital when he was in college, so he drew blood from people all day long. There's definitely some skill involved and I think this nurse doesn't have the knack for it. Dh drew my blood once and I didn't feel a thing or have a bruise. But other times, clumsy people have left me looking black and blue.
AmyG's Avatar AmyG 11:08 PM 12-06-2002
It definitely can be related to skill, but also, if you're fair skinned, you may just bruise easily. Have you ever watched to see how long it takes after they poke you until the tube starts to fill with blood? My veins roll all over the place, and it can take more than a full minute to get a vein after my arm is poked. When that happens, I always bruise.
coracle's Avatar coracle 12:18 AM 12-07-2002
Thanks for the input--glad to know it's not supposed to happen every time. I do have fair skin & freckles, so I guess that makes me an easy bruiser, but these are nasty ones. I'll look for some arnica, oceanbaby, and definitely apply pressure for a while. It's funny the skin closes so fast there's hardly any blood on the bandaid but lots under the skin.

I can clearly see one blue vein inside each elbow, but they're down inside, not sticking out like the ones on the back of my hands. I have low BP, maybe she's afraid they'll roll or something? I've had to be pricked more than once on the finger to get a hematocrit, but I've never had to be stuck again for a blood draw, so I guess they're not too hard to find?

This person is the only one who has ever used the cuff on me, but she does it every time--don't know if it's her usual method or she thinks my veins are harder to get. She lets the air out of the cuff while the syringe thing is filling--which doesn't take long, less than a minute. She mentioned a butterfly this time but then decided not to use it. I guess next time I'll talk to her about the bruising and ask what she can do differently, plus I'll do the pressure and arnica, and if there's still a big bruise I'll ask for someone else the next time.

Lisa-Lynn, ! I'm sorry that happened with the saline! And boy did that story give me the puckers!

Thanks again, everyone!
woldkill's Avatar woldkill 12:59 AM 12-07-2002
I have extremely difficult veins. I always bruise(had a huge hemotoma once),but know a few phlebotomists who can do it with minimal bruising. Suggestion: Do NOT bend your elbow. Keep it straight and apply pressure.

Forget trying to get an IV in though, ughh
LaLaLuna's Avatar LaLaLuna 02:57 AM 12-08-2002
Coracle- I asked a phlebotomist friend of mine today for her opinion on the way your blood is being drawn. She says that cuffs are used occaisionally but that if you're bruising every single time with this particular nurse then you ought to request a different nurse. She thought it sounded as though the cuff were being left on too long. But she was pretty adamant that you ought to have someone else draw blood; that even if you bruise easily it ought not to be the case every single time. Lory
nuggetsmom's Avatar nuggetsmom 02:02 AM 12-10-2002
I get bruises no matter who takes my blood, and I have my thyroid checked every three months (every month while pg) so I have had a lot of them. I'll try keeping pressure on longer to see if it helps.