There are many situations in which you require a blood draw. A blood draw might be recommended for a specific blood test requested by your doctor or in preparation for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. You might want blood tests to monitor changes related to personal lifestyle changes or goals. In our office, we use blood draws to prepare for PRP-related treatments such as non-laser skin rejuvenation, non-surgical hair restoration, and the O-Shot® for vaginal rejuvenation. We also perform blood draws in-office for patients requiring lab tests before and after insertion of bioidentical hormone replacement pellet treatments. Optimizing hormone levels means monitoring your blood chemistry.
At The Med Spot in Woodland Hills, Dr. Michelle Reyes has worked hard to create a comfortable, welcoming environment. We approach all procedures with gentleness and compassion. So it doesn’t surprise us that our patients from Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Tarzana, and other areas are happy to see us for blood draws.
Depending on the purpose of your blood draw, you may receive specific instructions about how to prepare. If you did receive pre-blood draw instructions — following the instructions is important for ensuring you get the tests and results you’re looking for. However, if you didn’t get pre-blood draw specific instructions, follow these general tips to make sure your blood draw goes as smoothly as possible.
Start hydrating the day before your blood draw. This will make the procedure easier and faster. It can also reduce the risk of side effects.
It’s usually a good idea to eat a good, protein-rich meal before your blood draw. If you do, you’re less likely to experience dizziness afterward. However, check your instructions first. Depending on the purpose of your blood draw, you might be asked to fast for a certain amount of time before the draw.
Wear clothes that will make it easy to access your veins. Short sleeves, no sleeves, or layers are all good choices.
A blood draw should take only a few minutes. From start to finish, you can expect it to take under 15 minutes to get your blood drawn. Your blood draws appointment duration may be scheduled for 30 minutes to accommodate paperwork and review of your information.
Individual phlebotomists might vary the procedure slightly, but in general, you can expect several steps to the blood draw.
The phlebotomist will apply a tourniquet to your arm — usually a stretchy rubber band. This encourages blood to accumulate in your veins, making it easier to find the vein and draw blood.
The phlebotomist will feel around for the best vein. Sometimes, they might mark the vein and then undo the tourniquet.
Next, the phlebotomist will clean the area with an alcohol wipe to sterilize the surface and reduce the risk of infection.
The phlebotomist will stick the needle in the vein. For small blood draws, the vessel fills almost instantly. For larger blood draws, it might take a little while, or we might have to switch out donation vessels.
Once the blood draw is complete, the phlebotomist will apply a bandage to the area.
We understand that having your blood drawn might make you nervous. You might not like the needle, the sight of blood, or even the smell of the antiseptic.
For most people, talking during the procedure helps, so we’ll do this by default. Let us know if this tends to make you more nervous, and we can work quietly. Also, let us know if you want us to warn you about any part of the process.
One good way to control anxiety before a blood draw is to just focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply and slowly with your eyes closed.
Wearing headphones can also help control anxiety. Make a blood draw playlist, something that tends to help you drift into your headspace, or pick an engrossing podcast to listen to during the process.
A blood draw has few risks and rarely causes side effects. However, there are a few procedures to follow after your blood draw to minimize risks.
First, you might be at risk of getting dizzy after having blood drawn — especially if you’ve been fasting. Have a snack right after your blood draw, ideally something rich in protein and iron.
Keep your bandage on for the recommended amount of time. Bleeding usually stops quickly, but it can recur sometimes, and it’s best to have the bandage on for the time when this is most likely.
Avoid strenuous exercise during the time after your blood draw. If you only gave a little blood, you’re not at risk from low blood, but you might cause your wound to start bleeding again.
If you’ve given a significant amount of blood, avoid alcohol afterward until you’ve eaten a good meal.
If you are looking for a comfortable place to have a blood draw in the Calabasas area, please contact The Med Spot in Woodland Hills today.