Giving blood – sore arm / bruising

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  • Giving blood – sore arm / bruising
  • Pieface

    I’ve only given blood once before and this may be normal, but it didn’t happen the first time!

    I gave blood on the 29th of December and a day or so later a large area of bruising / discolouration appeared all around my arm at the point that the needle went in and where they’d strapped on the canula(?) and other bits.

    The bruising is going down but my elbow joint is quite sore after I’ve done any press / pull-ups (similar to after doing a hard workout) which has never happened before. The only thing they said was to avoid heavy lifting for a day or 2 (which I didn’t). It wasn’t particularly painful whilst they were drawing the blood.

    Its slightly sore to touch and there is bruising under the elbow as if I’d whacked it falling over. I’m sure it nothing serious but seems to be taking a while to sort out and expect that this is normal, however if anyone can give any advice that would be helpful.


    My arm went black from my wrist to armpit after giving blood a few years ago, a bit tender for a week. Went to see the nurse at the local GP and she said “which ham fisted idiot did that” It faded after a week or so. When I give blood now I always tell them what happened and never had it happen since.


    Which vein did they use?

    I find if they use the one going off at 45degrees to the inside of my arm it goes horrible.

    The one going up the middle of my arm is spot on.

    The time before last – the bruising was huge – its cosmetic though, it’ll take a week or two.

    We suffer for our art 😀


    Not as bad as pigface, but I’ve had arm bruising a couple of times. Worrying at first but it does go down


    I’ve found that by applying a good amount of direct pressure to the puncture site immediately after donation, and for longer than you might think appropriate, really minimises bruising, discomfort


    Also had this only once and have given 60 pints
    Went from wrist to arm pit
    I was told it was caused by blood leaking back out of the vein into the muscle/arm
    Not helped by you lifting the heavy weights against instructions.
    I once played badminton the same day as I gave blood and nearly passed out.
    Now I do what they say!!!
    As said above-a bit tender but mainly cosmetic

    avoid heavy lifting for a day or 2 (which I didn’t)

    To be honest, I usually ignore this if I feel fine, but it may have something to do with it. Never had a massive bruise though, you might just have got an inexperienced nurse.


    Up into double figures for donations now and although I get a varying amount of ache for the rest f the day and possible the day after I have never had bruising that has come to the surface. I don’t think you helped your case by doing the heavy lifting. I would urge you to go back to donate again and just mention it.


    Thanks all.

    I didn’t do any heavy lifting, but did do some pull ups a couple / few days later.

    Premier Icon Drac

    I didn’t do any heavy lifting, but did do some pull ups a couple / few days later.

    Heavy lifting then.

    Bruising occurs due to leakage and people not resting them.

    it just happens sometimes. Not usually linked to skill of the person doing it.

    what Drac says too.

    Don’t let it put you off

    Premier Icon Ben_H

    Hi Pieface,

    Sorry to hear about this. You might find this helpful:

    If you are worried or require further information, you can obtain advice by ringing the donor helpline on 0300 123 23 23.

    Ben (Assistant Director, NHS Blood & Transplant).

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