How to Have Your Blood Drawn

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Getting blood drawn can be stressful for some people, so steps toward relaxation should be taken. Prepare to have blood drawn with tips from a firefighter in this free video on first aid.

Part of the Video Series: First Aid Treatments
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Video Transcript

You know, at some point in life, all of us are going to have a blood sample, or a blood draw done on us, as individuals. Hi, I'm Captain Joe Bruni. What we're going to talk about, is how to expect, or what to prepare for, when it comes to having a blood sample drawn. The person doing the sampling, is generally known as a phlebotomist. A phlebotomist, first and foremost, needs to be made aware, if you have some type of fear or phobia, of having your blood drawn, or of needles. There will be a slight pinch involved, but some people report, feeling nothing at all, if the phlebotomist is well versed in their techniques, and what they do. The very first thing that will happen, is some type of restricting band, will be placed around the upper part of the arm. This will back up the blood flow in the venous area, or veins of the arms, causing them to be more susceptible, and be seen by the phlebotomist. The area that they will attempt to draw blood from, is the other side of the elbow, known as the antecubital area. They will try and locate a vein, normally in the center, or on either side, that they can access for a venous puncture, with a needle. Normally, it's placed on a vacu container type of syringe device, and a vacutube is placed inside, ready to be punctured, to draw the blood into. They will locate the vein, and swab the area for antiseptic and disinfectant reasons to make it sterile, and they will locate and palpate where the vein is that they want to puncture. If you have a fear or a problem of having blood drawn, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and try to visualize a place where you enjoy being, or find yourself at peace. Again, letting the phlebotomist know that you have somewhat of a fear of this occurring. If you've fainted in the past, they could possible lay you down, to do this. The phlebotomist will make a quick insertion of the needle, and again, small pinch, or sometimes nothing is felt at all, because the needle is very sharp. They will draw whatever tubes they need, to access their blood sample. Remove it. Place a small piece of gauze or cotton swab over top, and then place pressure on the site area, to stop the bleeding. Many times people like to bend their arm in half, after that is applied, and many times, this causes a black and blue area, in the antecubital area. Try to keep the arm straight, and just remain with pressure, until the Band-aid or bandage is put in place. This is what to expect, when you have your blood drawn. I'm Captain Joe Bruni. Stay safe, and we'll see you next time.


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