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Stark
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Just yesterday I went to a hospital to have some blood drawn to test for a future surgery. A few seconds after the nurse began drawing blood i became light headed and passed out entirely. I don't know how long i was out but it was at least a minute. When I came to there were six or seven people around me, about to wheel me down to the emergency room. After sitting in the emergency room with a heart monitor on for an hour they decided I was okay and tried to draw blood once again. This time I didn't pass out but i got very light-headed once again and my heart rate dropped quite noticably, which apparently isn't normal.

Anyone have any idea what could cause this? They told me to go ask my personal physician about it, which bothered me because these guys were from the cardiology department of one of the best hospitals in chicago. If they didn't know then perhaps it's a real problem. My upcoming surgery is going to be long and complicated so I need to make sure something like this isn't going to happen again.

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Rhiandmoi
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I have passed out during a blood draw. My problem was low blood pressure. Everyone in my family has fainted during a blood draw though. For some of them it was just freaking out. Were you feeling anxious about the blood test?

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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My mom has always had trouble having blood taken. She does the same thing as you, needle goes in, blood goes out, she goes THUMP. I know she has problems with anemia, but I'm not sure if that explains the fainting. Recently, I started having the same difficulties, but thankfully I don't have to have it done nearly as often as she did.

We also both have a highly irritating condition that there is a name for, but I can never remember it. It doesn't matter whether the needle is injecting or draining, but about two minutes after being poked, I get lightheaded and sometimes pass completely out. I used to not have a problem with needles at all, but in the past few years this has happened every time I've had an injection.

Definitely talk to your doctor about it. It may just be an iron deficiency or perhaps a reaction to the needle itself. You aren't the only one it happens to though, so don't be too embarassed. When I had my meningitis shot, I was all done and waiting to do some paperwork as I left... next thing I knew I was on the floor surrounded by half a dozen nurses.

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Hairyfairy
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't mind needles but I can certainly start to feel a bit off if I actually look at the blood coming out of me - probably more a psychological reaction than anything though. I just make sure I look away!

The first thing that popped into my head when I read the title was that perhaps you were dehydrated - but this would affect you more if you were donating blood - ie a lot more than is required for a basic blood test. I've had that happen to me when I didn't drink enough fluids before donating blood and boy did I start to feel light headed and dizzy.... I came very close to passing out.

I would guess that its got something to do with a drop in blood pressure, and from the sounds of this thread, its not entirely uncommon. Whether its a psychological reaction or not.... I'd get it checked out just to be sure.

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STF
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I got the cold sweats giving a sample. It sucked. I didn't actually go out, but I wasn't right at all. Then I gave blood and felt just sick. I won't be doing that again.

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bufungla
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quote:
Originally posted by Stark:
Just yesterday I went to a hospital to have some blood drawn to test for a future surgery. A few seconds after the nurse began drawing blood i became light headed and passed out entirely. I don't know how long i was out but it was at least a minute. When I came to there were six or seven people around me, about to wheel me down to the emergency room. After sitting in the emergency room with a heart monitor on for an hour they decided I was okay and tried to draw blood once again. This time I didn't pass out but i got very light-headed once again and my heart rate dropped quite noticably, which apparently isn't normal.

Anyone have any idea what could cause this? They told me to go ask my personal physician about it, which bothered me because these guys were from the cardiology department of one of the best hospitals in chicago. If they didn't know then perhaps it's a real problem. My upcoming surgery is going to be long and complicated so I need to make sure something like this isn't going to happen again.

Happens to me every single time I get blood drawn. I have to make sure to tell them to have me lying down to draw blood, and repeat to them that I'm not kidding. In my case, it's a combination of being squeamish of large needles (I can take typical vaccination needles in my arm dozens at a time, but anything large enough to draw blood through seriously hurts) and having "rolling" veins (I can count on getting poked at least twice to get blood drawn).

If you're anxious about the process, make sure you're not standing up when blood is drawn, and have them let you lie down if at all possible. Ironically, in my case, they suspected diabetes as the cause, and I had to take a glucose tolerance test. This involves drinking a nasty, supersweet beverage (which people often throuw up the first time, requiring them to drink the vile stuff again) and then having blood drawn every hour for five or six hours. In short, they were giving me blood tests to find out why I was fainting, only to discover that what was causing the fainting was the blood tests.

buf 'see the definition of recursive' ungla

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I too once passed out. The culprit was serious dehydration (low blood pressure) mixed with a hefty dose of "I hate needles."

I have never passed out since then, but I still hate--HATE--getting shots.

Some people do pass out purely because of nerves. It's honestly nothing to be ashamed or embarassed of... it happens quite often. Ask your doc or nurse, I'm sure they can recount NUMEROUS occasions.

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Jason Threadslayer
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I walked into an ICU once, smelled the hospital smell, and wham, on the floor.

Passed on my times getting shots and getting blood drawn.

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lynnejanet
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I have no problem getting needles of any kind, and I have never had any trouble giving blood, getting tests done, or getting injections - except once.

The seventh or eighth time I donated blood, I did everything I usually did, including eating before and after, but I got lightheaded and passed out after giving. I was watching another donor faint (and thinking how interesting it was that he was truely green) and then I got faint and swayed, and a nurse caught me, and I ended up lying on a cot for 45 minutes.

It was horribly embarrasing, but they told me it was nothing unusual, and that I could give blood again.

My husband and son both have needle phobia, and my husband once passed out while watching my son have blood drawn. He's a really big guy, and the nurses at Sick Kids were really not impressed!

Certainly, see your doctor, but I would guess that you had a pretty normal reaction.

Good luck with your surgery.

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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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My hands get weak when I even think about getting blood drawn. It is strange - I can play gory video games or watch violent movies without being affected at all, but my hands get too weak to grip my pen and take notes when the biology teacher discusses the chemistry of blood clotting or something like that.

The feeling is not an intellectual thing for me - it is more like being nauseous due to a horrible smell. The worst instance occurred when reading a scene in Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. When Faustus bleeds himself into a cup in order to sign the contract with blood, I got faint, and when the blood congealed and he had to heat it to make it liquid again, I nearly vomited. Even thinking about it makes me unable to clench the my fingers into a fist.

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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I get the same thing Troodon does. I've always considered it a form of hematophobia (fear of blood) since it has all the standard symptoms of a true -- it's not a conscious reaction, it really is just this kind of physiological panic reaction. The sight of blood itself doesn't bother me unless it's someone cut and bleeding right there in the room, and most biology lessons and medical/forensic shows don't bother me. But sometimes the oddest thing will make me feel faint: I had the same experience in a lecture on blood clotting that Troodon did, I've had it when listening to someone talk about open-heart surgery (especially the vein-grafting bit or catherization). And I have it every time I have to have a blood sample taken. I'm not afraid of getting the sample taken. It doesn't hurt. But the moment I see the nurse preparing the lancet, all my blood rushes to the center of my body, I go pale, my hands shake, I get a cold sweat... which has on several occasions has left the nurse pricking my finger and literally not being able to fill the pipette because no blood is flowing in my fingers. In fact, having blood taken out of my elbow, even though I expected it would be much worse, was the best, smoothest blood sample I've ever had to give (and it helped that I was lying down at the time).

And my blood pressure is above average, so that's not the cause.

--Logoboros

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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A friend of mine nearly passed out at a blood donation session during the blood test part - the part where they prick your finger with some sort of stamp, and squeeze out a single drop of blood to drop in a tube.

Not quite the same as what you're talking about, but I don't think there's any way that can be indicative of a major physical problem. It has to be psychosomatic (or whatever the correct term is). He was told not to bother trying to give blood in the future.

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Stark
The Red and the Green Stamps


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After the whole incident I had this nasty yellow and purple bruise on my arm where the needle was when I fell. Today I looked at it and it's actually getting more blotchy and purple, to the point that it's looking like the junky's arm in 'Requiem for a dream'. I'm pretty sure this isn't normal (it really does look bad) so I think I'll go see my doctor about it in case it's getting infected. Thanks for the anecdotes guys [Smile]
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resident deity
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Richard: That is normally the most painful part of the process [Smile]

Except for one time when I had a trainee nurse try to find the vein on my left arm and miss several times. In the end she scraped the nerve - I had a stinging pain in that arm for weeks. Since then I've always given through my right arm!

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Brad from Georgia
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I've never passed out, though once or twice I've felt a little nauseated. One of my treasured moments: I was donating blood at our college's blood drive, and a big, tall, outgoing jock type who was in one of my classes was going in at the same time. We were put on adjoining tables, and the jock told the attendants, "Take care of the Doc. He probably can't stand it. Hey, Doc, if they can't get but half a pint from you, they can take an extra half pint from me," and so on.

And the minute they stuck the needle in, he fainted dead away. I finished up before he did, and he was looking mighty green around the gills. As I was leaving, I told the attendant, "Remember, he's giving an extra half pint!"

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Lunasa
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Last time I had a blood test done I fainted. The nurse got mad at me for not telling her I was a fainter, cause of course I should have known! It's not at all unusual for people to faint though... for me it was because I have low blood pressure (runs in my Mom's side of the family) and I'd had to fast before the test. I was told from now on I should give blood while lying down.

The last time I'd donated blood they scraped my vein with the needle (or that's what they told me it was) and it hurt like hell. I started crying, and then had 10 nurses in my face making sure I was ok, which made me cry even more, cause I felt like such an idiot!

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Horse Chestnut
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Just reading this thread has made me feel seriously woozy.

Horse "rollin' veins" Chestnut

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Mosherette
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I gave blood once and passed out. No needle phobia here (the fifteen piercings will attest to that [Wink] ) but I think it was probably a combinationof low blood pressure - mine tends to be on the low side of normal - and dehydration. I don't drink much so I'm usually quite dehydrated. Unfortunately when I came round the (very kind) nurse was holding a sick bucket right by my face, which induced an immediate panic attack* - my poor mother was trying to get me away, knowing what was wrong, while the nurse was encouraging me to "just get it all up, love, you'll feel much better afterwards".

Unsurprisingly, I've not donated again. Not to worry though; due to frequent piercing and tattooing adventures they won't let me anyway.

* For those who don't know, I have a very severe phobia of vomiting, and even the more innocuous thing can set off a panic attack.

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Enjal
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My mother worked for the American Red Cross Blood Services for over 25 years so I asked her the reasons behind why people pass out and this is what she said:

quote:
The usual reasons people pass out after donating-- nerves, just too anxious about the whole process, similar to when a new father faints in the delivery room. The more they understand about the process the more unlikely they will faint (also the desire to help others sometimes will help them overcome their anxiety). Also if the donor hasn't eaten or had enough fluids to adequately hydrate the body, they may feel faint-like after donating. After all, they are losing about a pint of fluid, which is no big deal in a healthy adult if they are hydrated properly. The adult body (that's why we ask the weight of donors) has 10-12 pints of fluid. I always tell donors think of your favorite pie, if you divide it into 12 pieces it isn't hardly a good taste. But you cannot insult the body by not eating and not drinking and expect it to be ok with losing a pint of fluid.
Hope that is helpful.



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Unusual Elfin Lights
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My grandfather told me a story he claimed occurred in the years after the war.

He was a blood donor and one time he went to give blood. While on the gurney he passed out. When he came to there was about 6 people around him and he was hooked up to a bottle of blood on a pole dripping into him. It was his own.

He always chucked when telling that story, but he gave blood for most of his life. No other reported incidents of passing out.

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Davros
Happy Holly Days


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i think i must be quite immune to fainting while giving blood
one time(more than 20 years ago pre aids) then when you finished the nurse clamped the tube from the needle to the bag then pulled the knot in the pipe closed cut the pipe then removed the needle from your arm this time the nurse was having a problem with the clamp
it took one or two trys to clamp then she tightened the knot and cut the tube and twang the clamp released and i had quite a good spray from the end of the tube all over the floor and the nurse
i was not upset but had a lot of people running around and a fair bit of concern all around
i thought it was amusing myself

it is amazing how big a mess a small amount of blood can cause

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dazey512
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have the exact opposite problem and for some reason it worries me. I was on Accutane twice some years ago, in which I had to get monthly blood tests to make sure I wasn't pregnant (a big law suit, or something, apparently), so I was used to getting small amounts of blood drawn.

Then about a year back I was under suspicion for having a TIA, and the neurologists perscribed a bunch of blood tests, which of course, needed different viles of blood. They ended up taking 6 regular sized viles, and 4 big ones (sorry, I dont know all of the exact volumes), and I had not yet eaten that day [fish]

They were so scared I was going to pass out and kept watching me, but didnt have any food for me to eat. Finally I just left, promising to go eat immediately. I didnt (things come up!) and went and hung out with a friend before school and went on with my day normally. It has since come to my understanding that most people can't function without at least feeling lightheaded after having that much blood taken with no prior food or drink.

It worried me that maybe I have too much blood, or my body doesnt respond correctly to losing blood, if there is such a problem.

da -bloody- zey

Edited for reference: I am 120lb and 5'9'' female so its not like I am a huge person with tons of blood.

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