Timing of syncope during blood sampling – The Maastricht Study

Published: 29 May 2017
Author(s): Remy J.H. Martens, Stefan L.C. Geijselaers, Coen D.A. Stehouwer, Ronald M.A. Henry, The Maastricht Study Group
Issue: May 2017
Section: Letter to the Editor

Almost everyone who visits an internist will be subjected to venous blood sampling, either for diagnostic purposes or therapeutic follow-up. Likewise, blood sampling forms the cornerstone of most clinical studies. Blood sampling is considered safe and harmless, yet 3–4% of the general population has a phobia of needles or seeing blood and is afraid to lose consciousness during the procedure [1]. The actual incidence of syncope during phlebotomy or whole blood donation is, however, reported to be low (0.2–0.7% [1,2]) and 0.1–0.4% [2,3], respectively).