Therapeutic Phlebotomy

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your caregiver if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.


Most people can go back to their normal activities right away. Before you leave, be sure to ask if there is anything you should or should not do. In general, it would be wise to:

  • Keep the bandage dry. You can remove the bandage after about 5 hours.

  • Eat well-balanced meals for the next 24 hours.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol minimally until after eating.

  • Avoid smoking for at least 30 minutes after the procedure.

  • Avoid strenous physical activity or heavy lifting or pulling for about 5 hours after the procedure.

  • Athletes should avoid strenous exercise for 12 hours or more.

  • Change positions slowly for the remainder of the day to prevent lightheadedness or fainting.

  • If you feel lightheaded, lie down until the feeling subsides.

  • If you have bleeding from the needle insertion site, elevate your arm and press firmly on the site until the bleeding stops.

  • If bruising or bleeding appears under the skin, apply ice to the area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin. Do this while you are awake for the first 24 hours. The ice packs can be stopped before 24 hours if the swelling goes away. If swelling persists after 24 hours, a warm, moist washcloth can be applied to the area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day. The warm, moist treatments can be stopped when the swelling goes away.

  • It is important to continue further therapeutic phlebotomy as directed by your caregiver.


  • There is bleeding or fluid leaking from the needle insertion site.

  • The needle insertion site becomes swollen, red, or sore.

  • You feel lightheaded, dizzy or nauseated, and the feeling does not go away.

  • You notice new bruising at the needle insertion site.

  • You feel more weak or tired than normal.

  • You develop a fever.


  • There is increased bleeding, pain, or swelling from the needle insertion site.

  • You have severe nausea or vomiting.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have trouble breathing.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.