Fainting can occur even in healthy individuals! It can feel lightheaded, faint or lightheaded. Then you may suddenly lose consciousness and pass out.
Many people find it difficult to get blood drawn for either lab work or blood donation. Our bodies can behave in a way that isn’t normal, even if we don’t feel anxious or scared.
Your body may have been experiencing a vasovagal response. This is the most likely reason why you felt sick after you had your blood drawn. This is your nervous system’s physical reaction. This can be triggered by either seeing the needle or your own blood. Or, it could just be anxiety about the whole situation.
Some people may feel nauseated due to vasovagal reactions. Some people may feel dizzy, begin sweating, appear pale or experience a temporary drop or increase in heart rate. Some people may even faint.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization can help you feel calm the next time your blood is drawn. Imagine you are on a relaxing beach or other place. Close your eyes. Some people prefer to look away from the needle when they have blood drawn. This is so that they don’t see the blood flowing through their arm. You can also distract yourself by listening to music or speaking with the technician.
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Remember, blood draws don’t last long. It will likely be easier to have your blood drawn each time.
The most common reason for fainting, especially among young people and children, is neurally-mediated syncope . Also known as vasovagal or vasovagal reaction, it is commonly called neurally-mediated syncope . Vasovagal responses are when blood pressure drops and oxygen is not delivered to the brain as it should. This response can be triggered by anxiety, emotional distress, or even the sight of blood during blood draws. Although it can cause minor injuries such as cuts or bruises from falls, this type of fainting is generally considered to be harmless.
Your skin may turn pale before a vasovagal reaction. You may also feel lightheaded and start losing some vision (tunnel sight) or blurred vision. It is possible to feel nausea, warmth, or cold sweat. You may even start yawning. Others in the room might notice that your pupils are becoming dilapidated, or you may be making jerky movements. A slow or weak pulse could also be a sign of your condition.
What steps can you take in order to avoid fainting during a blood draw?
Stretching your muscles and crossing your legs when you feel fainting may help to postpone or stop it from happening. It is also possible to lay down and raise your legs. You should not lie down if you have ever fainted during a blood draw.
The following can help you to decrease your chances of falling :
- Do not skip meals
- Do not fast for too much.
- Keep hydrated.
- Do not stand for long periods of time.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol
- Sleeping with your legs raised is a good idea.
- You can wear elastic stockings to prevent blood from pooling in your legs, which could reduce blood flow to the brain. ).
- Talk to your nurse or phlebotomist prior to your blood draw. Let them know if you have ever fainted.
What to do if faint after blood draw
Venipuncture can sometimes cause fainting. Patients may feel weak or lightheaded, or in extreme cases, loss of consciousness.
Before the procedure
The phlebotomist may be notified if a patient notices that he/she is feeling lightheaded or fainting after having blood taken. The phlebotomist will then need to take the necessary precautions to protect the patient during the procedure. The phlebotomist might instruct the patient to lie down during the procedure. This will reduce the chance of the patient falling and preventing injury from falling out of a chair.
If the patient falls asleep during venipuncture procedure, you can immediately stop it by gently removing the needle and tourniquet from their arm, using gauze and applying pressure to the site of the skin puncture and calling for help. Place the patient’s head between your knees if the patient is sitting.
Applying a cold compress to the neck can help the patient to be revived more quickly. It is unsafe to use an ammonia inhalant (smelling sals) to awaken the patient. Some patients may experience irritation or anaphylactic shock from the inhalant. The typical fainting spell is usually self-limiting and the patient will recover fairly quickly. The phlebotomist should be present for between 15 and 30 minutes to make sure the patient is fully recovered from the fainting episode.
Following the procedure
If the patient complains of feeling dizzy after blood collection, the phlebotomist should place his/her head between the knees and apply cold compresses to the neck. While the patient is dizzy, the phlebotomist shouldn’t direct them to another location.
The patient may faint and become injured if they are walking. The phlebotomist should not allow the patient to go home after the procedure, unless the patient is able to walk again. After a patient has regained consciousness, he or she should not drive a vehicle for more than 30 minutes.
It is important that you review the procedures in your facility and be able to respond appropriately to patients who experience dizziness or fainting during blood collection.