Blood Draw Tips for a Quicker, Easier Experience.
Blood draw tips that may be helpful if you are feeling a bit anxious, which is of course, totally normal.
As someone who underwent years of blood draws, I was lucky to have Betty as my phlebotomist. She shared SIMPLE tips for before, during, and after that made my draws:
- easier and
- much more comfortable.
Here’s what Betty shared with me.
Blood Draw TIPS: # 1 BEFORE the draw:
Increase hydrating foods at every meal starting the day before your draw appointment.
Soups, broths, extra servings of fruits, and veggies, including salads, all count.
Soup & Broths….
The day of the draw:
Focus on Hydrating right up to the time of your appointment.
Warm water, Cold water, Tap water, Mineral water, Coconut water, Water with Cell Food Drops🔗…..
“Staying hydrated helps increase your blood volume. It plumps up your veins for an easier draw. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you.” Dr. de Ridder (1)
Blood Draw TIPS: #2
Move and add warmth directly to your arm.
Move your body to get your circulation going and add warmth directly to the arm you will have the draw from.
The warmth was HUGE for me. I would place a heated flax bag on my arm all the way to the appointment.
Blood Draw TIPS: #3 Lye Down
If you are someone with vasovagal reaction (fainting is your body’s reaction to excess stress), tell the person drawing your blood.
They WANT to know.
If you want to lie down, it is – NO BIG DEAL –
For some, this vasovagal reaction (🔗 learn more about your Vagus nerve/HPA Axis and Stress response) may be a genetic predisposition. (2)
VVS appears to be a defense mechanism evolved to protect the heart during stressful and possibly dangerous conditions. (2) Vasovagal Syncope As A Manifestation Of An Evolutionary Selected Trait ( Bold added)
Whatever your reason
Having the genetic predisposition where lying down is safer than fainting or
It just feels like it’s a good idea
Advocate for yourself by simply letting the person who will draw you blood know that is your preference.
PLEASE let the phlebotomist know your preference.
Most draw labs have a spot to lie down. It is there for a reason.
I’ve opted to lie down many times even though I do not have a vasovagal reaction.
At times I felt like it’d be best to lie down during the draw. That’s a good enough reason.
Betty, the phlebotomist, preferred I let her know when I came in. -BEFORE the draw.
She always replied to my request by saying:
“thanks for letting me know NOW. I much prefer we start on the table instead of you surprising me mid draw where I’d have to figure out how to safely get you there.“
If you are met with “Oh, you’ll be fine,” simply explain you know it’s best for you to lie down. If you are still met with resistance (which I doubt), simply ask for another phlebotomist.
Asking for another phlebotomist is NOT an issue. It really isn’t. Betty would always tell me that some people prefer her, others prefer someone else, and that is okay with them.
This next tip may only be for some. For me, it was the most helpful suggestion for particular veins during the draws. The tip was to:
Blood Draw TIPS: #4 Request a Pediatric Needle
Ask for a smaller needle.
The first few suggestions may be more than plenty for most to provide a quick, easy, and comfortable experience.
Just in case there are some of you who have finicky veins like mine- here’s one more tip.
A tip that changed everything about my blood draw experiences.
Betty identified for me that I had veins that rolled and that a simple solution was for her to use a pediatric butterfly needle.
The draw takes a bit longer, but it changed everything for me.
I have since requested the smaller pediatric butterfly needle. I’ve only had 1 person who pushed back, and I simply asked for another phlebotomist.
Always share what works best for your body. ALWAYS.
Those who draw your specimen want your experience to be a good one.
It’s up to us to help them know what is helpful.
Blood Draw TIPS: #5 Breathe
DURING the draw:
During the draw, Betty encouraged me to breathe and focus on relaxing each of my muscles.
Listening to her voice was a great distraction. You can use the 1-Min and 3-min videos to focus on.
At the office and during your draw, use the 4-7-8 breathing. Then when the guided breathing is done-
👉🏼 Focus on relaxing your shoulders, your jaw, and your forehead, and before you know it, you’ll be done.
Pop your earphones on and use the videos.
Blood Draw TIPS: #6 Drink Right After- Even A Few Sips
Immediately after the draw, drink something sweet.
Ask for or bring a small juice or coconut water with you.
Ask for or bring with you a small juice for after. Sometimes two to three sips is all that’s needed.
I’m someone who never drinks juice due to the negative impact the jolt of high sugar has on me. Because of this, I was always thanking Betty for the offer and not taking her up on it. She encouraged me to see how just 2 or 3 sips could help.
A sip or two is enough to help.
After that realization, I brought along coconut water. It’s still high in sugar, but I tolerate it better. Plus, it is full of electrolytes and helps to rebalance my brain quickly post-draw.
Some grocery stores or even 🔗 amazon carries it. I keep a case in the cellar for days at the beach or a blood draw 🤣.
These tips are SIMPLE to incorporate before, during, and after your draw and can make a huge difference in your experience.
😉 Remember the 🔗 power of SCENT, and SOUND. Both can be supportive to you during a blood draw too!
The Power of SCENT
SCENT can positively impact our entire body. It can be a passive Self Care tool with immense benefits. Here’s how it works so we can leverage using SCENT to achieve results.
Feel, Look, LIVE better. The Simple Self Care Lifestyle
Have a blood draw tip that helped you? A Self Care question? Email me: email@example.com
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References for you:
1. “How to Prepare for Blood Work.” Geisinger, https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2019/04/05/13/52/how-to-prepare-for-blood-work.
2. Alboni, Paolo, and Marco Alboni. “Vasovagal Syncope as a Manifestation of an Evolutionary Selected Trait.” Journal of Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiofront, Inc, 31 Aug. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5135249/.