It is health fair season and many Emergency Medical Services personnel volunteer to help draw blood around the San Luis Valley. Based on years of participating in health fairs, we want to make some suggestions to make your experience a good one. 

The most important thing you can do is DRINK WATER. First thing in the morning many people are somewhat dehydrated. Plenty of water ensures that your veins will be as easy as possible to find.  If you are instructed to fast, avoid juice or cream and sugar with your coffee, but continue to drink water.  It makes a big difference.
The second thing you can do is to apply pressure after the needle is withdrawn.  When you are told to hold the gauze in place until a bandage is applied, hold it firmly.  Even after that, apply pressure for a few more minutes.  Bruising is caused when blood leaks under the skin.  The longer you apply pressure, the less likely you are to have bruising.

Follow these tips and you’ll make our jobs easier and your visit more pleasant.  And remember to thank the volunteers who make our health fairs possible.

 Jon Montano
SLV RETAC Coordinator