Monday, August 02, 2021

Well now I know what happens when the blood donation needle gets yanked out right after insertion

Not much, as it turns out. Just a tiny little spot of blood right at the puncture wound, sitting there, looking at us, calm as could be.

No drama, no spurting. You might think blood starts spurting out from the wound — I did — but if so we were both wrong. 

I guess the reason for that, thinking on this a bit more, is that as soon as the needle is removed, the skin closes up and so does (one hopes) the puncture in the vein, since the only reason those wounds opened up in the first place was due to the puncture. In other words, with skin being somewhat stretchy and elastic (and veins too, I guess), upon needle removal, those wounds would naturally close up. And this does seem to be exactly what happened. 

Now if the needle remained but the rubber hose connected to it got yanked out somehow, that would be messy, I would bet. 

Many years of donating blood several times per year, and nothing like this ever happened. First time for everything I guess.

Obviously we had to switch to use the other arm, and the donation was successful. 

So that was a thing that happened on my Saturday afternoon. 

Donating blood is obviously a good thing to do for others, but did you know that it’s good for your health too? Especially for men and post-menopausal women, because it thins your blood and helps remove any excess iron and other heavy metals that are not removed in natural ways. Excess iron is a risk factor in heart disease. If you donate 6x per year (every 8 weeks) you are changing over about 1/2 of your blood volume per year. 

It’s easy to do, doesn’t take long, helps others — especially if you have O- which makes you a universal donor in very high demand particularly at neonatal intensive care units — and good for you too. 

By the way, I learned something else new today, the name of that vein at the top of the forearm used for blood donation is the “median cubital” vein