Blood sample from a heel stick
There is very little risk of complications from having blood drawn from a heel stick. A small bruise may develop at the puncture site.
Blood sample from a vein
There is very little risk of complications from having blood drawn from a vein.
- You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
- In rare cases, the vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This condition is called phlebitis and is usually treated with a warm compress applied several times daily.
- Continued bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicine can also make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your health professional before your blood is drawn.
There are no risks linked with collecting DNA from saliva, urine, or semen.
The information obtained from a genetic test can affect your life and the lives of your family in many ways, including:
- Psychological effects. The emotions you may experience if you learn that you are likely to develop a serious disease or have an affected child can cause you to feel anxious or depressed. This information may also affect your relationship with your partner or other family members. Reference Genetic counseling Opens New Window is recommended before you have genetic testing.
- Medical treatment choices. If you test positive for a disease-specific gene change (mutation), you may decide to use preventive or treatment options, if they are available, to reduce the impact or severity of the disease. While many treatment options are proven effective, others may be potentially dangerous or of unproven value.
- Pregnancy decisions. Finding out that your unborn child (fetus) is or may be affected by a genetic disease can impact the decisions you make about the pregnancy. You may want to consider ending the pregnancy. Or you may need to change your delivery plans. If you had planned on giving birth at home, you may need to have your baby in a hospital. If your child is likely to need special care after birth, you may need to deliver in a hospital other than the one you first chose. You may also need to have special health professionals present at the birth.
- Privacy issues. Because genetic testing is expensive, most people cannot afford it without help from their insurance companies. Many people worry that genetic information released to insurance companies may affect future employment options or the cost or availability of insurance. But a law in the United States, called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), protects people who have DNA differences that may affect their health. GINA prevents employers and health insurance companies from using DNA information about people to affect decisions. This law does not cover life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 29, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics