With CLL, we all become familiar with having regular blood tests, but it seems no one bothers to tell us much about how to make these as pleasant as possible. Here's a previous post on what to do before your blood test/draw:
Today I visited a new pathology service and was most impressed by the phlebotomist's awareness of preventive hygiene techniques and to hear that annual refreshers were required by the company. No doubt our discussion was sparked by me wearing a face mask which met with the phlebotomist's approval when I explained why I was wearing it.
When we have a blood sample taken, our largest organ (our skin) which protects us from infection has to be breached by creating a wound, so I was also most impressed to see a pad of tear off 'Recommendations after Blood Collection', which I've reproduced below:
Venepuncture (drawing of blood) is a procedure that rarely causes side effects
To reduce the likelihood of side effects such as bleeding, discomfort, swelling or bruising, please follow these simple precautions.
* After the blood draw, the collector will ask you to apply moderate undisturbed pressure with your fingers to the site for a few minutes. In warmer weather you may need to place pressure on the site for a few minutes longer.
* Leave the dressing strip in place for 30 minutes to an hour.
FOR THE REST OF THE DAY
* Avoid tight or restrictive clothing on the arm.
* Avoid strenuous use of the arm (e.g. sports, digging, ironing, carrying parcels/handbag/briefcase).
If bleeding occurs, apply firm pressure with your fingers directly over the needle site and elevate the arm until bleeding stops.
If you have discomfort or swelling of the arm, elevate your arm and place ice over the site for 10 minutes. Let the arm return to normal temperature and re-apply ice for another 10 minutes.
Rest the arm as much as possible."