Disappointing session while donating blood today

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Sunny Side Up, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Our community's blood bank has a mobile unit that comes to our church every few months. I always like to give blood, and encourage others to join me there too. My 16-year-old son donated for his second time today, I'm so proud of him! Although I know that I have veins that are difficult for many phlebotomists to find, and that my blood flows very slowly so that it takes a long time to fill the bag, I am still willing to give the time & effort in order to donate a pint of blood that someone can use.

    The phlebotomist who worked with me today found it very difficult to find a vein he could use, and again it was taking a long time to fill the bag. This guy wasn't very communicative, wasn't telling me what was happening or what he was doing. He kept moving the needle around, re-taping it, re-filling the blood pressure cuff I had on my arm. Suddenly he takes the needle out, puts a gauze pad on it and tells me to hold my arm up.

    I kept asking if the bag had filled, if they would be able to use the amount they collected, if they could continue to try and tap a different vein -- but he & his colleague just giving vague answers, busying themselves with other donors, saying they would have to weigh the bag at the bank to see if it were enough. Finally I asked "Well, can I have it back? Can you put it back in?" but they just looked at me like I was a weirdo, not knowing I was kidding.

    But really, this makes me upset! If I'm going to go through all the time & trouble, deal with the pain & the fatigue afterwards, I want to know that it was for a good cause! This is my precious vital body fluid that I'm DONATING to help save people's lives! I think that I deserve a bit of consideration, to be told "I'm sorry ma'am, this is taking a long time, do you mind if we try to find a different vein?" or "I'm sorry ma'am, but our protocol states that after doing X X X X we must stop the collection, let's hope there's enough that has been collected to help at least one person." And not be treated like a piece of meat on an assembly line.

    Should I call the blood bank on Mon & complain, try to get some answers? I don't want to be a bad witness for our church, nor get someone in trouble by complaining about their work. But really, he wasn't very personable to be doing such intimate work with people. My son was also confused with this man's directions, for instance he'd hand my son a piece of gauze & just say "Pressure!" and I would have to explain "He means to put pressure on your finger with the gauze to get it to stop bleeding."

    Have you ever had something like this happen? Is there a way to make things go better the next time I donate?
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    If there is not enough blood in the bag they do use it for other purposes. I am sorry you had this problem my younger daughter has a similar problem but she does give every chance she gets. I would call and find out what the procedure is for collecting blood and if there is a time limit.
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Thats too bad!! [​IMG] I would be upset too..
    And YES, i would call the blood bank on Mon and report it.... they need EVERY bag of blood they get.... and to just dismiss yours like that..is so wrong!
  4. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    I would call and complain. Last time I gave blood they rolled 2 veins and I got huge bruises! I have big veins, easily seen, I even told the girls to give me the needle, I would do it myself! I think it is like a lot of things anymore, people are not as caring about their jobs, they show up, muddle through and collect a paycheck...... [​IMG]
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    My husband was a student phlebotomist and he said they should NEVER move the needle around, it causes bleeding and bruising that it should never be there when you are donating.

    [​IMG] on the "refund the blood back"....no, safety wise, it would not be a good idea. It has chemicals in the bag that would keep it from clotting.

    Yes, do complain and find out the protocols and you have that right to complain about the phlebotomist's behavior or insensitive manner or attitude. Those kinds do not make good medical people and they need to either adjust their attitude or move on to another field. I don't need nasty phlebotomists running around. Some of the blood centers even take failed phleboto students that didnt pass the class and they have some experience, then go thru supervised training before they can go on their own. Much more Common than you think!
  6. Randy

    Randy Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    That was my luck the two times I tried giving blood. Just a little in the bag the first time. The second time I tried no blood at all (of course the heart of stone could exlpain no blood).
  7. Terri O

    Terri O Crowing

    Please call tomorrow and find out! Like was previously mentioned they do need all the donations and if folks start getting turned off by the help where does that leave the blood bank? EMPTY! I am sure that person will get more training or be encouraged to "move on" but the only way they will know is if you call and tell them that your experience was unsatisfactory! I wish I could still donate! I almost had the 2 gal pin...but somehow their quick test indicates that I have hepC! (but I dont according to my Doc!) Terri O
  8. classicsredone

    classicsredone Songster

    Jan 6, 2011
    Crunchy California
    I'd complain, too. Moving the needle around will cause the vein to blow, and that is painful as heck. The blood bank told me that my veins are too difficult, so I must need the blood more than they do. [​IMG]
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Quote:Do you have verification from your doctor and the lab test results indicate that you are negative for HepC? If so, and you KNOW you are negative, then their tests probably faulty, expired or something not right. Hubby said try it again...he donated 12 gallons in his lifetime.
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I donate blood every 8 weeks if I can. Sometimes my red blood cell count is a tad too low, though. I mean, by a HAIR! Grrrrrr. The Bloodmobile comes to our office; the department for which I work supports employees donating blood on those days and does not "charge" any leave time for us being away from our duties for the amount of time it takes. The donation days are scheduled for a year, published on posters two weeks ahead of time, AND an employee representative sends out mass departmental e-mails to schedule the appointments.

    I think it's just wonderful the way our bodies make more blood so we CAN donate some. I was so thrilled when I discovered having had breast cancer did NOT disqualify me!

    If I were you, I would call the office and register a complaint about the treatment you received. Phlebotomists absolutely need good "bedside" manners.

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