Do you know that the most common complication after a blood test is hematoma? It looks like a bruise, which is actually bleeding under the skin. It can be relatively small, but it also can be quite large and painful. The size of a hematoma depends on how much your vein is injured, and if preventive measures were taken straight away after a needle was pulled out of your vein.
Remember that a hematoma is not supposed to happen! It can only occur because a phlebotomist made an error while performing the blood draw. Quite a few of the errors can cause a hematoma, but I’m not going to discuss them in my article. Let me tell you what you should know to prevent a hematoma.
After having your blood drawn, apply pressure with your finger for at least a minute as soon as a piece of gauze is placed on the site of the draw. Bending your arm is not an accurate way to apply pressure. You should hold your finger over the venipuncture site because applying a pressure bandage is not enough. Ideally, you should apply pressure for 10-20 minutes. While leaving the medical facility, still apply pressure until it is safe to continue with your day.
If after removing the bandage, you notice a small bruise that continues to grow, apply pressure to the entire area and hold the site above your heart if possible. If at any time, any of these symptoms begin to worry you, you should never hesitate to return to the office for examination.
If despite your efforts, the hematoma was formed, apply cold packs to the area to reduce inflammation, and alleviate some pain. Ibuprofen also helps to reduce inflammation, and manage pain.
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