Friday, November 14, 2008

I am no girls blouse. I'm tough!

I faint when I give blood, not always, but often. Especially if it takes a long time. Its strange because I am not afraid of needles. I get injections all the time (I am vaccinated regularly because of my job, no hepatitis or flu for me!) I've even had a TB test without fainting and that's when they inject fluid under the skin to form a nice blister. Oh the perks of my totally awesome job! I also see lots of blood at work, I used to sort all the blood specimens at my old job, if I had a problem with blood you'd think handling 8 tubes of thick still warm blood would get me to pass out. And I'm not the one who has to change the channel every time there's some kind of needle or operation on TV...... not naming names or anything ;-)

I only faint when my blood vessels are involved. And apparently its fairly common.

Vasodepressor syncope is caused by a reflex of the involuntary nervous system called the vasovagal reaction. The vasovagal reaction leads the heart to slow down (bradycardia) and, at the same time, it leads the nerves to the blood vessels in the legs to permit those vessels to dilate (widen). The result is that the heart puts out less blood, the blood pressure drops, and what blood is circulating tends to go into the legs rather than to the head. The brain is deprived of oxygen and the fainting episode occurs.

So its a nervous reflex from having my veins fiddled with. My little vessels don't like being prodded! The solution is to give blood lying down with your legs elevated. How dignified. Come to think of it, when I have had a blood test lying down its been okay. Still felt a bit woozy. In rare cases you can DIE! Your blood pressure gets so low and your heart stops! Death ensues! But that's pretty rare. apparently.

1 comment:

Nina said...

DON'T DIE! My fainting flower...