Scar tissue at blood donation site


I've been regularly donating blood at the American Red Cross since December 2002. In July 2003, I learned I'm a "Baby Donor" since I have CMV Negative blood which is given to babies, burn victims, AIDS patients, etc.

I attempted to give blood on Saturday, without much success. Unusual too since I've been called a "fast bag filler" more than once. After 20 minutes of me squeezing and/or rotating the rubber ball and the technician gently pushing the needle here and there to try to get blood to flow at more than a crawl, the blood stopped flowing when the pint-size bag was less than half full. Bummer! And, a partial bag can't be used.

Scar tissue at the donation site inside my right elbow has been slowly building up. (There is no usable vein in my left arm.) I've asked at least 3 technicians whether I'll be able to continue to donate blood and none of them have wanted to tell me I should stop. So, apparently there isn't a rule against donating blood (or attempting to) if you have build-up of scar tissue.

I've searched Google and checked the Red Cross website. I've been unable to find much information about donating blood and scar tissue. There is this one May 2001 article by's Expert on Donating Blood which indicates:

It's a matter of who is doing it and how they were taught and which techniques they prefer to use.

Maybe Saturday's technician didn't get the needle all the way into the vein? I certainly drank enough water the day before and that morning to ensure a good flow.

I don't want to stop saving babies with my CMV negative blood. I will try again in 8 weeks and hope I get a technician who has better skills with scar tissue.


It has been a long time since you posted this question, but i would recommend going for a walk right before you go in to donate. I am usually a slow bag filler myself, but yesterday i walked about a mile to the place where a "blood mobile" was parked. it only took me 5 minutes to fill up, where it usually takes me 15-20!

Thanks, Suze. I haven't been doing much email lately but am catching up a bit now. I haven't had trouble since that day. Maybe it was the technician...?

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About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page contains a single entry by Cheryl published on January 24, 2006 6:21 PM.

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  • Cheryl: Thanks, Suze. I haven't been doing much email lately but read more
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