Blood services nightmare

The vampires (VA Blood Services) have been calling so I went to give blood this morning and despite getting stuck twice they didn’t hit a vien. I’m a veteran at giving blood so know to eat and drink good before I go. This has never happened before and the kid didn’t do several things that others have always done. He hit something in one arm b/c it is bruising and bleeding. He reaked of cigarette smoke which was the icing on the cake. Last time I was there (59 days ago) the girl that stuck me was headed for the bone and I had a 6" bruise on my arm that took a week to heal. On top of that she was rude and was more concerned about when she was going to get a break b/c she wanted some pizza and french fries. I hate to be a complainer, but at what point do I contact the local customer service rep for them and say “Hey, if you want people to donate you need more competent people on the job?”

Sorry about the experience. Maybe if you want to continue to donate go somewhere else? Red cross maybe?

I would complain! They need blood and want people to donate and with ‘help’ like this they are going to end up turning people off and losing out. These people were obviously not trained properly.

I would ring the blood service people and ask to speak to their ‘customer service’ or equivelent and make a complaint or at least make them aware of what happened because it isn’t satisfactory. If they want to provide a service that people will use they need to know if their staff are up to standard.

I ask my DH about this (he gives blood on a regular basis) He was horrified that you had this kind of experience. He thought you should talk to someone asap. Who knows how many people may have been turned off to giving blood if this is happening on a regular basis. Is there a more senior person at the site you give blood at? It really stinks that you had that happen. Blood donations are so important, I hope you can get some resolution to this.

I used to volunteer time to draw blood for the Red Cross. We never treated people that way, it wouldn’t have been allowed.

At my last job, the Red Cross van came around and parked for an afternoon so people could donate, the stories they came back with, and the bruises, made me angry. No one should be subjected to that kind of treatment.

Please, make the call~

The point is past. Do it NOW.


I’m sorry that happened to you.

I am usually pretty easy to get blood from, but I’ve had a couple bad sticks too - although not from Red Cross blood drives. This was for different blood tests.

I had one tech who wasn’t even really watching what she was doing and after two tries of hitting nerves, I told her that I wanted to wait for the other technician. She seemed peeved and told me I’d have to sit a while and I told her that I was fine with that and I wasn’t trying to offend her but I was in pain and wasn’t going to get stuck again by her (for some reason, she refused to try my other arm too - so she wanted to go for try three in the already really painful arm). The other tech was great and very apologetic.

Most of the doctor’s offices out here now send lab work out to be done and read so you have to get the order and go somewhere else to have it done…which almost always means ridiculously long waits (bring knitting!). Well, I went in one day and there were already 8 people ahead of me, three of which were basically planning how to rip the poor tech on duty to shreds when it came their turn since they’d been waiting for two plus hours. For some reason, their usual staff of 2-3 techs was down to this one poor guy who honestly WAS doing his best and was just swamped. The line moved slowly and when it came to the first of the two men who were complaining, he started yelling at the tech and the second man joined in - even SWEARING at him and calling him names! These were men in their 50s and 60s too (I always expect better behavior from that generation and am seriously disturbed when they act like jerks). Anyway, the poor tech was red-faced and apologizing and after listening for about thirty seconds, I’d had enough.

I told both of the men that none of us were thrilled about having to wait so long, but it wasn’t this guy’s fault that the place was understaffed that day and the guy was doing his best to do a good job with everyone. I told them calmly that it was totally unacceptable to talk to him that way and if they didn’t stop, I’d call building security on both of them which would mean they’d both lose their place in line which I’d gladly take since I was way behind them. :slight_smile: They looked like they wanted to whack me, but thankfully, they shut up and sat down. The other people sitting there looked like they were waiting for the men to start in on me, but they just sat and pouted as only middle aged men can do.

How stupid is it to antagonize a person who is planning to draw blood from you anyway?! Sheesh!

The line went faster once these men shut their mouths and when the tech got to me, he thanked me and said he was tired because he hadn’t had time for a lunch break. I had a granola bar in my purse and made him eat it and go get a drink of water BEFORE he drew blood from me. He was so appreciative. And he did a great job. After that visit, I wrote a letter to the company to praise this man but tell them how understaffed the office was and that they needed to either find more staff or start instituting appointments or something to prevent this from happening again. Who knows if anyone listens to stuff like that…but if it isn’t said, I KNOW no one will hear so at least I tried.

That all being said, I’m sorry that happened to you…maybe you can complain about it. I’m sure those places are understaffed or perhaps not competently staffed at certain times.


Last time i went to donate blood i went to the local call at a community centre. It was quite busy (which is good to see) and the receptionist was a bit short with me, i put that down to workload. I was warned that there would be quite a wait but i didn’t mind as i had a book with me. I noticed that there were a couple of people that had come in after me who ended up going for the screening and even to have blood taken way ahead of me and wasnt sure why. After over an hour of waiting i asked a nurse incase my name had accidently been left off the list, she said i would just have to wait and no explanation was given. I asked if there was somewhere i could get a drink as i was getting thirsty with the waiting, but was told it was best not to leave the room incase i missed my turn.

I waited another hour (starting to feel a little dehydrated now) and eventually got to see the screening nurse who was very rude to me about a small pimple i had on my cheek implying that i had an infection and was lying to her about it when i said no it is just a hormonal pimple like i get every month. She even asked a lot of personal questions and didn’t seem to beleive my answers (How many poeple have you had unprotected sex with in the past 6 months? can you be sure of that? what do you meen can i be sure?! what the hell do you think i am doing!) eventually i got to go through to give blood.
The girl stuck the needle in and nothing happened. She tried again in the same arm and nothing happened. She wiggled it around a bit and asked me to make a fist and squeeze. nothing hapened. i aparantly had no blood. After a lot of wiggling around with the needle in my arm and my hand swelling, turning purple and going numb from the turniquet, another nurse came over and took over taking the needle from my arm and explaining that they were having problems finding a vein he asked if i was ok and i showed him my hand which he masaged a little and i said that i was feeling a little dehydrated.
He then said, i thought you were, did you not get offered a drink. I said no and he frowned. He then leaned in quite close, and said, ‘if i were you i would make an apointmentto come back to the next session to try again, but the nurse thinks you are a drug user which is why they wern’t treating you properly and why they think they can’t ge a vein. when you come back ask for me, and gave me his name.’ then he said if i wanted i was welcome to go and sit and have a drink and a biscuit in the recovary section at the back.

Well i went back to the next session, asked for him and now the swelling had gone down he had a good lok at my arm and checked the veins, and said, that he was sorry but after all that it looks like my veins are a little to small for the guage needle they use for blood taking so i wouldn’t be able to donate. But he offered me biscuit and a cup of ta for my trouble anyway!

Aparantly if you do not fit in with the standard concept of what looks ‘normal’ then you must be a drug user and a bad person so it is perfectly ok to stab you with needles!

I have had a couple of oddball experiences over the years. This last time a couple of weeks ago he missed and I ended up with a bruise. I hate that. Grosses me out.

A couple of years ago something happened and apparently I wasn’t flowing. So they were making me move around and that was royally making me ill. I don’t like the needle and making me move around… phew. I was close to passing out!

You did a good deed though!

Goodness - I’m sorry everyone else has had such bad experiences too !!
While the hubby and I were shopping Sunday afternoon there was a blood drive outside Whole Foods so I stopped in and one of the girls that is regularly at blood drives was there so I said - If you stick me I’ll stay, but if it’s anyone else (showed her bruise on R arm) I’m outta here. She stuck me and all was well. Donated in 4 min - now if they could just streamline the paperwork before hand…
I didn’t have to call them, they called me and left a message and know that I was in and that I came back. I’ll call her back tomorrow.

YUCK! Why do people act like that? Makes me want to say “Well excuse me for trying to DONATE!” Good grief!

Anyway, I hope that it stops and that you have a better experiences in the future.

I have deep veins and so it’s hard to stick me, but I break our with the band aids after being stuck and one lady one time told me she HAD to put a band aid on me. I told her it was MY arm and she wasn’t going to. It was like she thought I’d bleed to death from having blood drawn… :roll: cuz I couldn’t possible hold the cotton ball on there…

I really wonder about people sometimes…