What scares a vampire?
July 18, 2018 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Last night, after an iffy stick, the phlebotomist ended up holding the needle steady during my entire blood donation. I made the minimum amount, and we were hanging in there to fill the bag, when suddenly...

...her supervisor freaked out, there was some bustling/shuffling, and the needle was removed and the blood placed in a different area from the rest of the completed donations. I asked three times what had happened but got no straight answer and was told twice that the donation was just fine. What could have been happening?
posted by wellred to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Was the phlebotomist wearing gloves?
posted by amro at 5:35 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

She was. That would be a great explanation!
posted by wellred at 5:46 AM on July 18, 2018

I have had a blood donation take so long (apparently my blood is made of treacle) that they pulled the needle out before the minimum amount and sent me on my way. Perhaps you maxed out on time?
posted by coppermoss at 6:09 AM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

I would find that annoying/alarming enough to call and ask to speak to a supervisor for an explanation.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:50 AM on July 18, 2018 [14 favorites]

It’s possible that you were anemic (low iron/ferritin count) and they failed to recognize that in the pre-test before letting you give blood. This is just one possibility, but I have anemia (which I am now treating) and trying to give blood was how I first found out.
posted by nightrecordings at 8:18 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

If it was going to result in less than a full unit, they're probably just going to toss it.

Have you bruised visibly since then? Perhaps thy knew they infiltrated, and wanted to minimize it.

Was anyone else's stuff pulled quickly? Or were there other bags set aside already? If there was confusion about the barcodes between the test samples and the final product among a couple of donors, they might be worried.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:37 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

All really good thoughts.

Definitely not low hemoglobin, I tested at 133 g/L. I don't think it was long bleed time, I was super hydrated, but can't prove it 'til they upload my stats. Bar codes and identification were all good.

I am slightly bruised - the infiltration idea makes sense because I could (apologies) feel the needle very distinctly.

I may in fact brave the phone and call, especially if I don't see stats uploaded later today.
posted by wellred at 8:43 AM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

That's really weird, I would definitely call and ask to talk to a donor services supervisor.
posted by radioamy at 10:49 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I did follow up and talked to a supervisor this morning.

The phlebotomist who was holding the needle apparently slipped a bit and allowed air into the tubing, which is considered a contamination. My blood was discarded, so it turns out they lied to me by saying it was fine. They've been dealt with so please, if you are considering donating blood in the future, do not consider this a deterrent.

Mystery solved!
posted by wellred at 7:19 AM on July 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

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