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The puncture wound caused by a needle stick for a blood sample or
to donate blood usually heals without trouble. It is not unusual to develop
a bruise at the puncture site. Most puncture wounds for blood draws do not need
If you need intravenous fluids or medicine directly into the
vein, a needle attached to an
intravenous (IV) catheter is inserted into the vein.
There may be a slight amount of redness and swelling at the puncture site. The
vein may become irritated. This irritation is called superficial phlebitis.
After a vein is irritated, it may feel hard or stiff for up to 7 days. This is not a symptom of infection. Redness and warm skin moving along the vein from the puncture site towards the trunk of the body is more serious. If you have this symptom, call your doctor. Removing the catheter
when the vein becomes irritated usually relieves the symptoms. IV sites usually
heal without any problems and do not need further care.
An adhesive bandage is placed over the puncture site after the
The best way to prevent bruising is to apply firm, steady pressure
on the site for 3 to 5 minutes after the catheter or needle is removed. When
blood is drawn from an artery, pressure is applied for a longer period than for
a needle stick. If bruising occurs at a puncture site:
Report your symptoms to your doctor if the symptoms
have not improved after home treatment.
June 6, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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