Phlebotomy (Bloodletting)

Phlebotomy is a procedure that blood is removed from the body of a patient with hemodynamic disorders, high hemoglobin, and other hematologic disorders.

This procedure is done to reduce the number of red blood cells and the amount of collected iron.
  1. Maintain good health. Get enough sleep the night before.
  2. Drink three to four glasses of water to improve blood circulation.
  3. You will receive instructions from a hospital officer regarding the procedure and will be asked to sign relevant consent forms for the procedure.
  1. The hospital officer will arrange you into a comfortable position and measure your vital signs.
  2. Your arm will be cleaned with Betadine® and alcohol where the blood will be drawn.
  3. The hospital officer will place a tourniquet around the arm to visualize the blood vessels. You will be asked to make a fist. The hospital officer will then insert a needle into the vein and withdraw blood using equipment from the blood bank.
  4. While the blood is being removed, you will be asked to make a fist and open your hand every 10-12 seconds to increase blood flow. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, please let the officer know immediately.
  5. When the appropriate amount of blood has been removed, as ordered by the doctor, the officer will remove the tourniquet and the needle. A bandange will be placed at the insertion site. You will be asked to put pressure on the site and elevate your arm for approximately five minutes.
  1. Stay seated until you feel completely normal. If you feel dizzy or think you might faint or experience any other adverse effects, please let the hospital officer know immediately.
  2. If there is blood seeping through the bandage, use the fingers of the other hand to place pressure on the site and elevate the arm for about three to five minutes. If bleeding does not stop, please let the nurse know.
  3. Drink at least two liters of water a day for the next few days after the procedure to prevent fatigue.
  4. If any complications occur, such as dizziness or fatigue, please return to the hospital for further treatment.
  • Bruising, swelling, or pain at the insertion site. These often improve on their own.
  • Infection at the insertion site. If you notice any swelling, redness, or inflammation, please see your doctor as soon as possible.
It is recommended that a family member or friend accompany you to the hospital as you may feel fatigued after the procedure.
It depends on how easily blood can be drawn and the size of the blood vessel.
What if the procedure is not performed?
High hemoglobin can affect the circulatory system, causing blood clots that may be life-threatening and can increase the risk of heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or stroke. See the doctor immediately if you experience dizziness, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, fainting, chest pain, and/or pain, swelling, or redness or pain under pressure at the leg. These may be symptoms of thrombosis and must be treated immediately.
Please discuss treatment options with your doctor.

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