Recommendations After Blood Collection
To reduce the likelihood of side effects such as bleeding, discomfort, swelling, or bruising, please follow these simple precautions:
Within the first hour:
- Leave the dressing strip in place for 30 minutes to an hour.
For the rest of the day:
- Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing on the arm.
- If bleeding occurs, apply firm pressure with your fingers directly over the needle site.
- Avoid strenuous use of the arm, such as sports or heavy lifting.
- If you have discomfort or swelling of the arm, elevate your arm and place ice over the site for 10 minutes. Rest the arm as much as possible.
Caring for You After a Blood Test
Under regular circumstances, getting a blood test (venepuncture) is a straightforward procedure with minimal side effects. Some people may experience mild discomfort or notice a bruise, which typically resolves within a few days.
In general, there are 3 possible types of complications arising from having a blood test:
1. Feeling Dizzy or Fainting
This happens to fewer than 4 out of every 100 people and can be prevented by asking to lie down when you have a blood test and ensuring you have had plenty to drink (water) beforehand. Talk to the collector if you are worried about feeling faint.
2. Pain and Bruising
Around 1 in 7 people might get a bruise after the blood test. More women than men might experience this because women tend to have narrower veins, and if you are currently taking blood-thinning medication, the bruising might be worse. Let the collector know if you are taking blood-thinning medication. Ensure you apply lots of pressure on the needle site for a few minutes afterward and do not use your arm to carry heavy objects after the blood test.
3. Nerve Injuries
These are extremely rare. While problems can occur, serious nerve injuries are exceptionally rare, especially during routine blood tests.
If you experience any problems after your blood test, check in with the doctor who ordered your test, or feel free to email us at email@example.com so we can get back to you with advice.