Is my blood donation vein done for?

I went in today to donate blood for the first time since November last year.

My veins are deep, and I always use my right arm because the phlebotomists have always told me that while my right vein is bad, my left is worse.

Mot of the time when I donate, even though I’m properly hydrated and stuff, it’s a bit of a chore to get me stuck. Sometimes a confident phlebotomist will be able to trust themselves and trust me when I say “it’s there in the middle and it’s deep” and get me stuck on the first try. However, there have been several instances of them having to dig around with that needle, sometimes for minutes. I let them do it because I just want to donate blood, dammit! Once I had to leave because they got it started but it stopped flowing. The last time they dug around and just sent me home.

This time, while a gaggle of phlebotomists poked around my arm with their fingers, their poking really hurt. In the dozen times I’ve donated before, it’s never hurt like that. The whole area ached and the vein itself felt extra sensitive. This is before a needle ever got anywhere near my arm.

The girl got it in on her first try, but the needle had to be adjusted to get it right and get the blood flowing. It did burn pretty bad when she stuck it in, which is also new.

Now afterwards the area hurts like a bitch. I had to take the bandage off early because it hurt to have pressure on it.

I know that veins can get scarred, but also have read that they heal really quickly. People give blood like clockwork for years and don’t have problems. Then again those people probably don’t have to endure such trauma every time they get stuck.

I’m wondering if I just had a particularly bad blood draw today (which, IMHO, was not the worst draw I’ve ever had but so far is the worst post-procedure pain) or if my vein has just had enough.

I don’t know if they will allow this question here or not, but I can tell you the same thing happened to an exgirlfriend of mine.

I have a similar problem. Sometimes they get frustrated and draw blood from the top of my hand. They’ll blow the vein every time unless they use a tiny butterfly.

I’ve wondered too how long it takes veins to recover from blood work and IV’s.

I stopped donating blood after a ten minute argument with the tech over whether I was a junkie or not, and whether I’d lied on my form about when I’d last shot up.

He wouldn’t believe that my veins were that deep and hard to find.

Just not worth the grief.

I’m a nurse and I’ve worked in blood collection for six years.

Some donors do build up noticeable scar tissue, but sometimes that’s just an excuse for a bad stick. Having deep veins that are hard to feel is a bigger problem. If I had your history and the phlebotomists were having that much trouble finding my vein (not to mention being that rough), I would wait and try again another day.

I work in research and use blood from human volunteers on a weekly basis. There are two of us that collect the blood. The other tech that does blood collection has done what happened to you to me. It is excruciatingly painful. I have veins that Helen Keller could hit, large, on the surface and never roll. I do have a tiny bit of scar tissue as well.

When the other tech was on vacation, I asked an MD from another lab to draw my blood. I told her that blood drawing has been painful the last couple of times, and she blamed his technique for causing me pain, not the scar tissue and my frequent draws. FTR, I give once every 3-4 weeks, but only 50 mL each time. I now only let her draw my blood, she hits it every single time and I don’t get that painful twinge while the needle is in my arm.

I don’t think it should take more than a day or two for your vein to recover from a normal blood draw. A normal blood draw should also be pain free while the needle is in the vein and not result in a bruise. If you bruise, the vein is damaged and may need more time to recover. It is rare that I see someone come from the Red Cross or any other blood donation without a bit of a bruise, it’s the nature of donating such a large amount.

Thanks, everyone. It’s the next day now and I feel a lot better.

Later in the day I was having a ton of pain in my forearm, and it dawned on me that I may have strained a muscle. They have my pump that ball so much, and they put a BP cuff on tighten that so much that I think my arm is already in a ton of pain before they even get in there with a needle.

I put some ice on the area, took some Aleve and went to bed early. Today it feels fine and there is just a teeny tiny bruise. So if my forearm muscle was upset yesterday, it’s not injured, and it’s fine today.

I love donating blood, but it’s getting to be a real pain. I make all of the phlebotomists nervous and they end up hurting me. Ugh!