Bruising From Donating Blood

I gave blood last Tuesday morning. I developed a very large bruise the next day. Today, 6 days later, the bruise is even bigger and surrounded by discoloration (light bruising) around it. And furthermore, my arm still hurts from my elbow to half way up my bicep. Am I going to be okay? BTW, I know that I should see a doctor, but I’ve just been too busy at work to go.

Absolutely normal, though it means the nurse/doctor who did it was not very adept/gentle!

The first few times I gave blood I got various degrees of bruising but don’t worry - nothing serious and it went away after a week or so!


This has happened to me on occasion after donating blood.
I think it usually takes 2 or more weeks for the bruise to disappear (fade).
It would sting for a week afterward…

I’ve occasionally had huge bruising from donating blood. It’s never caused me any problems, aside from the soreness and the ick factor of a huge bruise on the inside of the elbow.

Some of the folks who put in the needles are better than others.

I got a bruise from the middle of my forearm to the middle of my upper arm just from having a blood test once. I described it on the phone to my doctor and he said is was OK. Hope yours clears up soon.

Thanks everyone! I started practicing using my right arm for everything, in case my left one had to be amputated or something.

I’m giving blood for the first time next week, you guys need to make sure it will be a pleasant experince for me. Enough with the “I got a bruise from my fingernails to my toenails” stories please.

Please? :gulp:

Then I probably shouldn’t relate the time I donated blood and they cannulated my artery instead of my vein. They got their full unit (and then some!) in record time, and I had a most impressive bruise. Fingertip to armpit!

It didn’t stop me from donating again, though.

if you’re a first-time volunteer for donating blood – tell them! if they have any smarts at all, they’ll try to get one of their better techs to work on you so it won’t turn into a traumatic experience.

some of the problem can also have to do with the individual’s body layout. some lucky people have veins that pop out practically on command. others (like me) have veins that burrow as deep as they can and play hard to get. i’ve pretty much given up on donating blood because of that. the last time i tried, they worked on BOTH arms, and still barely managed to get the bag to turn pink!

didn’t totally stop me from getting tested as a potential blood marrow donor recently, though. of course, i wound up with a bruise as big as my fist from the guy drawing that one little blood sample. :rolleyes:

Basically, it depends on the skill of the person drawing blood. My mom’s a microbiologist who’s done a fair share of blood-drawing and she takes pride in not bruising people. I have what she calls “good veins”(very visible and close to the surface); she says this means that I should never bruise after having my blood drawn if it’s being done by a good phlebotomist. I’ve only had it happen once and I’ve had a fair amount of bloodwork done.

As long as they didn’t inadvertently draw from an artery, you’re good–my mom did this by accident when she was first learning to draw blood and the guy’s arm turned into one massive hematoma (painful for a long time, but went away eventually).

Definitely tell them it’s your first time. The last thing you want if you’re a first time donor is to get a trainee tech. I think the person who did mine last week was on her very first day. She was extremely nervous. She nearly tried to stick me without pumping up the blood pressure cuff first, didn’t tell me to squeeze the ball, and didn’t tell me to raise my arm after she took the needle out. It’s a good thing I knew the ropes. She did a good job getting the needle in though and I’m sure she’ll be a pro in no time.