Saturday, December 19, 2009


Originally uploaded by BigMisterC
I donate blood as often as I can. It really is important. One unit of donated blood can save several lives. If you are able to donate blood, I urge you to do so. Don't assume that someone else will do it. I have been donating for years and usually have no problems, no ill effects. Hell, I've never even gotten nauseous or light-headed even. I have a one gallon pin that I have affixed to my ID badge at work but have probably donated much more than that - I never remember my donor card so I really don't know how much I've given.

This time however, the phlebotomist who took my blood did not do such a good job. She went into the vein at a bad angle and went through the vein. Of the three veins in the anti-cubital fossa (the fancy name for the inside of your elbow), the brachial vein (the one closest to your body running at an angle) is the worst of the three veins for any kind of phlebotomy. It isn't anchored in muscle like the other and has a tendency to "roll" under the skin. The cephalic vein vein (on the opposite side) runs parallel to the arm and is a bit hard to find isn't much better because of the angle of the needle as it rests against the arm - it would be hard to anchor the collection needle because of the curve of your arm in that area. The vein dead center is the best of the three and the one that is almost ALWAYS used for donating blood.

Well, my phleb chose the brachial vein... she went through the vein and had to pull back into it to get the blood to flow. But that caused bleeding below the surface, hence the bruise. The blood stopped flowing and they had to stop the donation. Now my arm is swollen and discolored. It feels like an over-inflated tire and will soon have a nice rainbow of colors...

Lucky me!

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