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  • Can blood pressure tests make you faint?

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    Old 07-20-2020, 05:41 PM   #1
    Jessifiy
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    Can blood pressure tests make you faint?

    Long story but, a few years back, I went to donate blood. New situations always make me a little anxious, nothing too bad, I just don't enjoy not knowing the specifics of a situation. So I'm a little nervous, but fine. The nurses go through all the tests and I'm maybe a little woozy but I put it down to nerves. I get halfway through the actual donation, I start to feel really dizzy and I faint.

    I come back to try again in a few months and it's still a new situation so I'm still a little nervous, but this time I also know that I fainted last time so I'm probably a little extra worried about that. None of this seems too big though, I'm fairly confident that I'll be okay this time (although subconsciously, maybe not?). But the blood pressure cuff inflates and it makes me lightheaded. So I don't donate and I just go home.i am also on the light end of the acceptable weight for blood donation, if that makes a difference.

    Cut to maybe two or three years later, my mum has to check her blood pressure at home, so she gets a cuff. The whole family makes use of this and tests their own bp, so I do too. It makes me nervous just thinking about it. But I have my family laughing and joking around me, my dog to stroke and by the time the cuff is on, I'm feeling okay. It inflates and I'm still fine, at which point I really relax because the full inflation was the problematic part the last time and I seem to have got past that point with no issues. The cuff deflates, gets taken off and then the next thing I know, I've been tipped back in my chair and my family are peering at me in concern. I have the sweating and dizziness of fainting and I feel like I'm going to throw up, my left arm (that the cuff was on) is tingling and my right does a little too.

    I'm aware that maybe my slight nerves during the first donation, coupled with a light weight, maybe caused the fainting, then the second time I was even more anxious (although it didn't feel it) which caused more lightheadedness, and I now have a negative association with the blood pressure cuff and that whole situation. A self fulfilling prophecy if you will.
    But being that I was more relaxed this time, and felt fine right up until the cuff actually came off, at which point I pretty much instantly fainted, it feels like the return of sensation in my arm caused the fainting.

    So my long-winded question is... Is that a thing? I'm not sure how pressure cuffs work? Are they actually limiting the blood flow as they measure it? Or is this completely a nerves thing? Even if it may be more of a mental block than a conscious fear?

     
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    Old 07-21-2020, 03:59 AM   #2
    Titchou
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    Re: Can blood pressure tests make you faint?

    Anxiety plus giving the blood has caused this to start and now the idea of it can cause the reaction. Plus being at the bottom of the weight range didn't help in the one instance. It is normal to be a little lightheaded after giving blood...they usually give you something to eat and drink that is high in sugar content to offset that. A couple of sessions with a psychologist to control the anxiety would probably take care of it.

     
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    Old 07-21-2020, 04:54 AM   #3
    Jessifiy
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    Re: Can blood pressure tests make you faint?

    Yes, I understand the act of giving blood can easily make you dizzy. But what I'm wondering is, in the most recent instant with a bp cuff, where I was comfortable at home, not giving blood or having any sort of checkup, felt physically fine up until the pressure of the cuff was released, at which point the removal of the cuff made me lightheaded and then faint... Can that be anything to do with the cuff? Seeing as I did not feel anxious or dizzy whilst the blood pressure was being taken, only dizzy afterwards. A delayed anxious response maybe? But it didn't feel like that, which is what makes me wonder how a cuff actually works, and whether that could have anything to do with it.

     
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    Old 07-21-2020, 12:19 PM   #4
    Titchou
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    Re: Can blood pressure tests make you faint?

    I would doubt it. Has someone grasping your arm strongly ever done that?

     
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