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Husband Fainted + Seizure During Blood Draw
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Husband Fainted + Seizure During Blood Draw

I wasn't quite sure which forum to use, I hope this one is okay for my question.

My husband (34 yrs old, no history of medical problems, non-smoker/non-drinker) went for a yearly checkup today.  The doctor ordered routine blood work.  My husband has always been afraid of having his blood drawn or receiving injections such as flu shots, etc.  I remember last year that the nurse asked him if he'd rather lie down for the flu shot, but he didn't and was able to handle it without consequence.

When his blood was drawn today, however, he was apparently so tense and nervous that the nurse had to draw blood from both his arms to get enough for testing.  The nurse asked throughout and afterward if he needed to lie down, but he declined because the worst was over and he thought he'd done well.  Within seconds of the last time she asked him, he said he suddenly felt extremely exhausted, so he put his head down on his arm, which was still resting on the little flip-out table attached to the chair.

The next thing he knew, he came to in the floor and the nurses were in a panic, checking his pulse, running to get the doctor, asking him a lot of questions to determine how coherent he was.  He told me about this morning and said they'd checked his pulse and blood pressure, and the doctor checked him with a stethoscope.  The doctor told him it happens occasionally, no big deal.

What my husband neglected to tell me until tonight is that when he came to and before the doctor got to him, the nurses asked if he'd ever had a seizure before (he hasn't) and told him that in addition to fainting, he'd also had a convulsion!  I asked him what the doctor said about it, and he said he didn't ask the doctor and the doctor didn't mention it.

I was worried that he'd fainted (out of sheer fright, I imagine), but learning he'd also had a seizure added a new element of concern for me.  Could you please tell me if this is common with fainting and whether it can be caused by anxiety?  Also, is this of significant concern that we should ask his doctor to investigate further?  I'm terribly worried now that I know he didn't just faint but also had a seizure.

I should add that as a child, my husband had fainting spells every now and then...usually when he was anxious or terribly afraid of something, but sometimes for no reason at all that anyone could discern.  He said he had an EEG and some other tests at the time and that the doctors never found anything at all wrong with him.  Those episodes stopped when he was a young teen, and he'd never fainted since...until today.  His cousin did have epilepsy, and in fact, sadly died in her 20s from complications related thereto.  So there is one person in the family who had a history of seizures.

I'd love some reassurance if this is not so out of the ordinary or some guidance in where to turn, what to ask if we should have this investigated further.  Thank you SO much for any help you can offer us!

Bunny
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660872_tn?1238644845
Hi, Don't worry. That is what happens when someone has a vasovagal episode. It's completely normal to have tonic/clonic spasms when you faint in that manner.

I used to work for a pathology company and the first time I had someone do this, I panicked.  I thought they were having a seizure as well.  I ran next door to the medical centre and pulled a doctor into my office by the sleeve.  When the doctor talked to the patient and listened to my description of what happened, he almost laughed himself sick.  Talk about embarrassing, not only for me but for the poor man who had a needle phobia.

It happens quite frequently and it's usually men who do it because they are too embarrassed to admit they may need to lie down to have their needles. Some kind  of macho ego thing, I guess.

I hope he feels better now.

Chirley
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Thanks so much, Chirley! :)

I actually had an appointment with my neurologist today for a lumbar epidural, and I told them about my husband.  They, too, said it was nothing to worry about (and enjoyed giving him a little good-natured ribbing over it).

Whew!  I'm the one in our home with all the medical issues, and my husband is SO wonderful to help me and is so understanding.  I was worried that he might even try to hide something from me so as not to worry me.  So your reassurance was certainly a huge relief!

Thanks again.  I really appreciate your help! :)

Bunny
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Bunny,

I understand your concern. As a kid, I fainted when I got hurt or seen blood. The older I became I began having seizures along with fainting when I had blood work done. The neurologist ran a EEG on me and found nothing wrong other than an extra transmitter in the brain triggered by stress.

Still have seizures when I have blood work done. I have tried to control it but have not been able to. Your husband has similar symptoms to mine and I am very healthy also. Luckily, I am always in good hands when I have a seizure....doctors and nurses right there. LOL I wouldn't worry, unless it happens on occasions other than needles, and blood work.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the exact same thing happen to me. I lost my CDL license indefinately and my job and I have no source of income. Doctors required to report seizures to DOT? MVA in some states and this caused them to suspend my license. Can't get SSI/disability only short term disability through work. That ( if i get it ) will last 12 weeks. So i am about to lose my apartment, car, job and everything else. BE CAREFUL with MVA/DMV. Hope the best for you and your husband. God bless you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't worry had my blood drawn today and had an absence seizure, its rare in most people but it does happen. The doctor told me this can happen when there is a blood disturbance in a heart flow and causes the blood to drain to the legs. The best way to avoid this is to lie down on a table with your legs up to avoid aby blood loss to the brain, you will feel a bit lightheaded and fuzzy vision but 99.99% of the time this works. Also make sure there is something sweet around, like sugar water or brownies so his blood pressure will raise again. Hopes this helps
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