Be Careful About Wound Location:
As with all bloodletting implements, it's best if you know the safe
locations to use them, or more specifically, the locations NOT to use
them. A copy of Gray's Anatomy or any other decent medical anatomy book
will show you the locations of the major arteries and other things to
avoid. Some bookstores will let you "browse before you buy",
or failing that in your area, perhaps your local library will have a
copy of something applicable that you can browse. You can also use Gray's
Anatomy Online if you cant' afford (or can't find) a good medical
anatomy book local to you.
Screen Your Donor/Yourself:
Just because you need to drink blood doesn't mean you have to ignore
the possibility of fatal diseases. Most cities and towns have some sort
of free or low-cost clinic where you can get blood tests run to verify
you/your donor is as healthy as you/they appear.
Shortgoth wrote an excellent overview
on sterilization methods - I highly recommend reading it. Clean
and sterilized equipment greatly reduces the risk of infection from
contaminants. Also be sure to clean/sterilize the area to be cut on
your donor so that there's less of a chance for surface bacteria to
get into the wound.
Because any bloodletting tool can carry the risk of blood-borne disease
from one use to the next, they should be disposed of after every use
when practical (I know people aren't going to want to throw out knives,
but razor blades, lancets and other cheap-to-replace things certainly
First Aid / Post-Wound Cleanup:
Wash the wound with an antibacterial wipe, soap and water, or some other
cleaning item. Use an antibacterial cream/ointment (such as Polysporin
or Neosporin) on the wound and put a Band-Aid or other bandage on top
for ease of healing and to keep external stuff (such as dirt) from getting
into the wound. If you're concerned about the wound reopening, masking
tape or surgical tape will be better to keep the wound closed.
If you have never taken a First
Aid class, do so! It will save potential hassles down the line,
and give you a better understanding of how to care for most types of
wounds generally encountered in day-to-day life.
Most bloodletting methods will come with a greater or lesser likelihood
of scarring. You AND your donor should be aware of this, and the donor
should be aware that the scars are very likely to be PERMANENT
- which makes a difference, for example, if they plan to wear swimsuits,
especially skimpy swimsuits, as the scars in most places will be visible
to anyone else. ALL donors should be prepared for this eventuality.
Also, visible scarring may impact the donor's medical care at any medical
facility, if they think the donor is either a cutter or attention seeker.
This may result in them being referred for only a psychiatric evaluation,
instead of getting treatment for a valid medical problem that they went
in for. This is why it's important for any scarring to be out of sight.
Scarring can be reduced (or eliminated if the user is persistent and
patient enough) by high-strength vitamin E oil. Proper vitamin E oil
of this type is extremely viscous, like a thick honey, and will be 28,000IU
strength or higher. You can see a list of them (along with some watery
not-so-good varieties) over
on Amazon. This should be applied - once the wound is healed - several
times a day for a few weeks. The area will be VERY sticky doing this,
and will likely collect every stray bit of lint that goes by, but if
you're persistent enough, it will eventually work.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Talk with your donor to find out where they would prefer to have the
bloodletting tool used. If the donor is doing the cutting (recommended)
this will likely be the easiest for them, as they can choose the spot
that they KNOW is less painful for them.
On average, the least painful locations seem to be the outer side of
the arms, the back/shoulderblades, and the top of the shoulders, well
away from the curve of the neck. If any potential location is an erogenous
zone, then it will likely be too painful to use (unless your donor
is into pain, which most are NOT...)
AUTOLANCETS / LANCETS / PENLETS / MICROLETS (Safest,
Easiest, Most Painless)
I always recommend these to anyone who's unsure what tool or device
to use because they're relatively goof-proof as long as you don't use
them over any bad location (i.e., major arteries, etc.) These are devices
commonly used by diabetics, acupuncturists and people testing their
cholesterol (depending on country and/or area). They also have the advantage
of being nearly painless, relatively inexpensive, and available nearly
anywhere diabetic supplies are sold.
These come in various forms depending on where you are located. See
types of lancing devices and their particular lancets so you know
what to look for - not all lancets will function in all devices, and
what is actually available in your area will vary.
Another type of lancet not covered on that page is once called the
"Microtainer Contact-Activated Lancet" in blue. (they're color-coded
by size) This is a single-use-only variety that's suppose to automatically
activate when pressed against the skin - an entirely self-contained
lancing device. You can see some shopping links here
(200 packs) and here
(available in quantities of 1, 10, 50, 100 and 200 packs). If none of
those links are working, you can also find them on Amazon.
Scarring is minimal with these items, as the wound area is very tiny,
even with multiple pokes.
BLADES - CRAFT KNIFE / EXACTO KNIFE (Convenient)
Model hobbyists will usually have craft
knives, super glue, masking tape, and sometimes isopropyl alcohol
on hand for use in various modeling activities. Coincidentally, these
are also all useful for bloodletting activities as well - so if you
are known to have a modeling hobby, nobody will think twice about you
having any of these supplies on hand. (It will greatly help this if
you HAVE models on display in your residence as well.)
The advantages of a craft knife is that you're able to replace the
blade easily, and most blades of this type are designed to work interchangeably
with craft knife type handles, so you can likely get scalpel blades
and use the same handle.
Shortgoth wrote an excellent overview
on blades which I highly recommend reading.
Here is a image of what a set of craft knives should roughly look like:
And a sample set of scalpels, so you can see the similarity in some
of the blade shapes:
BLADES - RAZOR (Convenient)
Razor blades tend not to be as sharp or as clean as exacto blades.
This is not recommended for the injury-squeamish or for those who are
nervous about the whole bloodletting thing to begin with! Razor blades
are meant for shaving motions more than cutting, be aware that you have
to be very very careful, otherwise they will not make as neat a wound.
There's always a risk of scarring with this or any other type of bladed
instrument, which can be minimized by cleaning the wound and frequently
applying a high I.U. strength vitamin
E oil as it's healing. (Remember, the proper strength oil will be
highly viscous, like raw honey, rather than watery.)
Here's some images of the types of razor blades I'm discussing here:
Typically used in paint scrapers tools. One side is covered to reduce
injury when used by hand. Not to be confused with a safety
These are typically used in safety
razors - not disposables - where just the blade is replaced.
(Safety razors aren't as popular now with the advent of disposables,
but the blades are still made.)
I know there's folks out there that prefer using teeth instead of a
sharp instrument, whether for expediency, because they feel they "have
to" because it's more vampiric, or whatever other reason they come
up with - however it's not recommended because the mouth IS a known
breeding ground for many germs that can be nasty if they get into the
I don't recommend this - especially if you're worried about losing
control - but if you feel you MUST do this, then:
1) brush your teeth no less than
1-2 hours beforehand. This gives any bleeding gums a chance to stop
bleeding, and to let the toothpaste flavor fade, because really, blood
mixed with toothpaste flavor? Nasty combination. *makes ugly face* The
main intent here - especially if you don't brush very often - is to
get the accumulated gunk off your teeth so it doesn't contaminate the
wound and cause infection.
2) Use listerine or other sanitizing
mouthwash right beforehand. (To kill any wandering germs that have crept
in since brushing.)
3) Also sterilize the area to be
bitten, or at least wipe down with alcohol. Use proper cleanup procedures
afterward for best healing results.
Also known as "the fastest way to scare a nervous donor..."
Needles should NEVER EVER be used on someone else by anyone who isn't
a trained phlebotomist. Ever. No ifs ands or buts about it. It's too
easy for the untrained to possibly kill a person, or cause serious or
critical injuries with a needle.
There's enough other methods to use, so I really don't feel this should
be recommended to anyone without training.
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