Spreading The Love: How To Overcome Fear When Donating Blood
While none of us typically enjoy getting blood taken, there are many people out there who genuinely fear needles. If youre one of these people, dont worry, you are far from alone. This fear is one of the top 10 rated fears in the United States, with 50 million Americans suffering from an extreme fear of needles. This intense anxiety can disrupt both important medical procedures and routine health maintenance. Not only is it a huge deterrent for getting your annual flu shot, which is wildly important for preventing the spread of influenza, but it can also discourage people from donating blood.
The anxieties that we feel about needles often dontmatch up with the reality of the situation. Getting blood drawn or getting ashot is minimally painful and under the right sanitary circumstances, generallyvery safe. The issue has to do with mental attitudes surrounding the event. Theneedles used to draw blood are usually only 16- or 17-gauge needles, which arenot wide enough in diameter to cause you any severe pain or bodily harm.Learning the importance behind blood donation and how to better prepare can helpmake it less intimidating in the future.
What To Expect When Giving Blood
Ill be honest, it is not all cupcakes and butterflies . Donating blood is slightly uncomfortable, but usually just for a second or two when you are pricked. The first needle is typically a quick pinch in the finger just to test your iron levels to make sure you are a candidate for giving blood. If you pass, then you are pricked one more time with the withdrawal needle. Other than that, there is usually no pain when the blood is being drawn. If you are in a good health, you shouldnt face any issues.
After the needle is removed and you stand up, you may feel a little dizzy and lightheaded. If that is the case, lie down for a while, eat something and drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
Here is what you need to know before you donate blood for the first time:
What Gauge Needles Are Used For Phlebotomy
This difference is critical to remember, as there is no uniform gauge size for all phlebotomist patients. Each needle varies in their blood flow rate and compatibility with specific vein types. Although 21, 22, and 23 gauge needles are three of the most common needles, a broad knowledge of all needle types is beneficial to accommodate …
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Donator’s Incentive And Deterrence
Multiple studies have shown that the main reason people donate is due to selflessness, charity, general awareness regarding the demand for blood, increased confidence in oneself, helping a personal friend/relative, and social pressure. On the other hand, lack of blood donations can occur due to fear, lack of faith in the medical professionals, inconvenience, and the lack of consideration for donating. Pathologist Leo McCarthy states that blood shortages routinely occur between July 4 and Labor day and between Christmas and New Year.
What Is Blood Donation
Since we are talking about blood donation here, why dont we dig deeper and know more about blood donation? It is common when we talk about blood donation since it has been rampant worldwide since then. But then, not everyone has the idea or the proper knowledge about what it is. Blood donations arent simply donating blood and getting it transfused. Blood donation is a procedure thats been considered safe and straightforward. This involves a person who is the donor, contributing any blood product or blood component.
These blood components/products are the following: red blood cells, plasma, whole blood cells, and even platelets. Those are the four components of blood that you can donate from one person to another. Read why is blood donation important.
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The Butterfly Needle System
The butterfly needle comes as a unit. It can range from 18 to 27 gauge. The needle is attached to a soft tube that ranges between 8 to 15 inches long. The end of the tube is joined to an adapter that can be screwed into a tube holder if using the evacuated tube system or unto a syringe.
The length of the needle can be from 1/2 to 3/4 an inch long. Use the 21, 22, and 23 gauges. Use the 21 gauge on adults with plump veins. Use the 22 gauge on smaller veins and use the 23 gauge on small and thin veins.
The 24 or 25 gauge needle may be used on patients with difficult veins including neonatal/pediatric, geriatric, oncology and burn patients.
Cons Of Higher Butterfly Needle Gauges
Smaller, higher-gauge butterfly needles cause less pain, but they may not always be appropriate. Here are some disadvantages to keep in mind:
- May cause hemolysis: Needles with a gauge size 25 or higher are not always recommended because as needle size gets smaller, the risk of hemolysis increases. Hemolysis would render blood samples invalid for certain lab tests. For this reason, a gauge size 25 or greater is only recommended for use with infants or patients with hard-to-access veins.
- Takes more time: A smaller needle draws blood at a slower rate than a larger one. If blood is urgently needed or a patient cannot sit for long, it may be better to use a lower gauge.
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How To Prepare For Yourdonation
Evenif you cannot seem to manage your anxiety about needles, there are some thingsthat you can do to make the process easier. One of the most important thingsyou can do is to properly prepare your body with a few simple steps:
- Make sure that you get plenty of sleep the evening before
- Eat a balanced meal before you go and a snack right afterward
- Avoid fatty foods due to the fat deposits that can build up in your blood
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate your veins and prevent passing out
Whenyou get to the actual facility, try to do everything you can to calm yournerves. Try closing your eyes to avoid catching sight of the needle and itsinsertion. Additionally, nurses say that talking through theinsertion can distract patients enough to skirt major anxiety.
Things To Know Before You Donate Blood
Zika is affecting donor eligibility this year.
& #151 — The summers no vacation for blood banks, and this one has been especially hard: Just after the fourth of July, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations. This time of year, blood donors are typically out of town and unable to give,” explains Justin Kreuter, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester, Minnesota or they may not be eligible to donate after traveling to certain areas outside the United States. It really hits us in the summer months, Dr. Kreuter says. Your community needs your help now heres what you should know about pitching in.
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Does The Needle Stay In When Giving Plasma
Containers used to transport supplies and specimens should also be cleanable by disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite bleach solutions. Fabric or textile carriers should be machine washable. The information given here supplements that given in Chapters 2 and 3. Users of these guidelines should read Chapters 2 and 3 before reading the information given below. This chapter covers background information and practical guidance relevant to venepuncture for blood donation.
Giving Blood: What To Expect & 5 Benefits Of Donating
While I wouldnt go as far as saying that I am a trypanophobic, the sight of needles and blood do make me nervous to a certain degree. And that is why giving blood was on my bucket list for so long without a checkmark next to it.
However, as I always say, sometimes you need to push through the fear and look at the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone. And there are plenty of advantages when it comes to donating blood. From cancer treatments to high-risk surgeries, you take a little part in helping save lives. It is a random act of kindness where you lose nothing, but gain a priceless altruistic feeling.
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Eligibility Is Always Changing And Zikas A Concern This Year
The Red Cross maintains an alphabetical list of eligibility criteria for potential donorsfrom acupuncture to Zika and can give you the latest information on whether or not youre good to give. There have been no reported cases of Zika transmission via blood transfusion so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , but theres a strong possibility that the virus can be transmitted that way. What were doing now, per the FDA, is deferring for 28 days, which is twice the known period of infectivity, Dr. Kreuter says. Because Zika can be transmitted by sexual contact as well, women with male partners who have visited Zika-affected areas are deferred for three additional months.
Technology Of Ivs In Nursing Today
IV designs have come a long way since the early days of nursing. One of the most useful features of IVs today is the ability to retract the needle once the IV has been inserted into the vein. A lot of people, patients in particular, assume the needles stays inside of the arm. In fact, the cannula is the only part that remains inside the arm, and the IVs needle is retracted and disposed of once it has been successfully inserted.
The retractable needle safety feature found on most IVs today can dramatically decrease the risk of accidental needle sticks. Many nurses have been infected with serious or even fatal diseases from needle sticks.
When I was in nursing school, a clinical instructor told us a true story of a woman who lost her life due to a needle stick. This nurse worked in a jail setting, and an inmate fight broke out. Several inmates were injured, and she had to start IVs on some.
One inmate had a particularly violent nature, and he managed to grab the IV after the nurse inserted it into his body. He stabbed her repeatedly. As it turns out, he had AIDS. Unfortunately, the nurse acquired HIV/AIDS and passed away a few years later.
Therefore, the retractable needle feature in most IVs today can help reduce the risk of accidental needle sticks.
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Giving Blood The Full Lowdown
First-timers, you should know that the people who work at the blood donation centers are super nice and very professional. Karen Dominguez, bless her heart, was my phlebotomist of the night. She graciously seated my friend and me together. Karen kindly asked who wanted to go first. I decided if I watched my friend get poked first, I would likely back out. My courage was sky-high and I was ready to DO THIS. She told me she would count down when she would prick me in my right arms healthy veins.
One Two Three!
Done, it wasnt that bad! And then the panic set in.Wait, that was it? That wasnt that bad. Wait, bloods coming out now? Let me take a peek. Bad idea bad idea Did the lights just dim down? I feel like Im under water, is she talking to me? Am I freaking out? I think Im freaking out. No wait, Im definitely freaking out!
Folks, I put this in here because I want to be realistic about my experience. But in all seriousness, I was simply panicking. The prick in my arm really wasnt that bad, but my anxiety-filled nerves got the best of me and started making me feel a little uneasy. Karen calmed me down, got me some cold, wet towels and told me to cough really deep into my stomach .
In all, I totally regained my cool. Within 20 minutes a pint of blood was taken out of my five-foot body and placed into a bag that would soon be whisked away to someone in need. How cool is that? In a few weeks, Ill also know my blood type!
The Importance Of Using The Right Needle
The process of collecting blood samples impacts every step that follows. If the sample is collected properly in line with best practice guidelines, the risks of inaccurate diagnostics fall dramatically. Phlebotomists have skills and training that enable them to complete procedures safely, efficiently and accurately. Before collecting blood from a patient, a phlebotomist will assess the scenario carefully to select the right needle. Using the right needle makes accessing the vein easier, enhances safety and makes the procedure more tolerable and less daunting for patients and clients. In most cases, straight needles are the best option, but there are circumstances when butterfly needles offer advantages for phlebotomists and their patients.
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The Importance Of Selecting The Right Gauge
The reason its important to use the right gauge is because some nursing procedures can only be done with a particular sized needle. For example, if you have a patient who needs to have his or her blood drawn, youll want to go with a gauge large enough to do it. Otherwise, you may end up having to re-stick them with the properly sized gauge. This can cause the patient frustration and pain.
Therefore, whenever you start an IV on a patient, you want to ask yourself what type of procedures your patient will be having while in your care. Here are some common uses for the different gauge sizes, generally speaking. .
*Always check with your hospitals protocol about blood product administration. Most hospital protocols will outline for you what gauge of IV needles you can use for blood product administration. Some hospitals allow you to use 20 or 22 gauge IV needles in the adult population, however, some do not and may require a central line. So, always check with your organizations policy.
Why Do Smaller Needles Hurt More
There are two main factors that make injections hurt: one is the thickness of the needlethe thicker the gauge of the needle, the bigger the hole, hence the bigger the pain the other is the friction factor of the needleeven if a needle is fine, its saw-tooth design causes pain because it damages the skin. Japanese …
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What Happens To The Donated Blood After
If you wonder where these types of blood go after the donation, there is a legal process for storing and distributing it. After being transfused in a bag, the blood donation is tested to pass a certain standard. Then, right after, it will be stored for a couple of weeks in the right place with the right temperature making sure it would still be usable and preserved. There are also basic rules in keeping blood donations, and you can look for them on the internet.
Then, it would depend on the organization you have donated to and where they would want your blood donations to go. There are so many places needing blood donations for several reasons. They may opt to ship it in these places or find hospitals near the area to give out the donated blood.
If you want to know more about blood donations, you can read what is autologous blood donation. You can read this interesting topic that may sound unfamiliar to you. It is additional knowledge to know about blood donations.
Lists Of Gauge Needles Used For Plasma Donations
Different gauge needles that vary in numbers and sizes exist in blood donation. Each hand goes in its blood flow rate and compatibility with specific vein types. Needles are used to injecting medication into or withdraw fluid from the body. Measurements of needles do have a relationship with the size and number.
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The Fda Regulates Donor Blood Just As Aggressively As It Regulates Drugs
It takes a lot of money to do the infectious-disease testing that we do , and when we create blood products out of the donation, thats done to the same standards as any drug manufactured in this country. The FDA holds us to those same standards, so its a very high level of quality and also resources that are invested, Dr. Kreuter explains. These tests and high standards are whats keeping the blood supply safe, so that if my wife or one of my daughters needs a blood transfusion, I can feel assured that I can just sit at their bedside and hold their hand rather than worry about what that might result for them later down the road.
What Is The Needle Size
As you bravely march over to donate blood like a courageous hero, you may falter at the sight of the needle. Yes, it looks HUGE. I recommend not looking, until after!
To minimize shearing forces that irreversibly damage the red blood cells, a large needle is used during the collection of blood. Moreover, a tourniquet may be tied around your upper arm to increase the pressure and flow of blood.
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How Often Can You Donate Platelets
Donation frequency is every 56 days. Though for power red and platelet donation, rules are a little different: 1 In power red donation, you can safely donate two units of red. Its frequency is 112 days. Male donors must be at least 17, and female donors must be at least 19. 2 Platelet donation can be done every two weeks as platelets have a high production rate.
What About The 22 Gauge Needle
The 22 gauge needle falls somewhere between the 21 and 23 gauge. Use it for adults who have medium-sized veins and for older children.
The idea here is that the vein is smaller than a vein on which you would use a 21 gauge needle but bigger than a vein on which you would use a 23 gauge needle.
The flow of blood is a fraction slower than the 21 gauge but collection tubes fill quickly enough.
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