Blood sampling rarely has complications, but they can.
Bruising, which can occur after blood is drawn at the puncture site. The possibility of this is reduced by keeping the arm outstretched (not bent) while applying pressure to the puncture site with cotton wool or a dressing for at least 2-3 minutes. If bruising does occur (which is more likely if the vein is harder to find and puncture), it should not require any special treatment and will drain on its own.
If you experience a painful, purple lump, it may be the result of a larger haemorrhage or haematoma. If the lump is large, it may also press on a peripheral nerve, which can lead to numbness and pain. Thus, if you experience a large, painful haematoma, a medical examination is always recommended to assess the severity and the need for treatment.
In some cases, fainting may occur when blood is drawn. This is a harmless loss of consciousness that resolves quickly on lifting the leg or on its own. If you have experienced fainting as a reaction to this or any other situation, please tell our colleague who will put you to bed for the blood test to avoid injury!
As blood sampling also involves a small wound along the puncture site, it is rare that this can lead to inflammation or infection. To avoid this, we disinfect the skin before the puncture and use a technique called aseptic technique. Inflammation or infection is indicated when the puncture site is swollen, red and painful. In such cases, icing, anti-inflammatory creams and, in some cases, antibiotics may be necessary. A medical examination is recommended to determine this. Very rarely, a blood clot may form in the veins. Signs of this are painful, bunchy, stringy-feeling veins. If it spreads to larger veins, the arm may swell. In this case, a medical examination, in some cases an ultrasound scan and, in the case of a confirmed deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), blood thinning treatment is essential.