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Vampire Guide: Vampires & Blood Matters: Safe Bloodletting & Feeding

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Page last updated: 8 february, 2007.

Remember this: Those you take from are people, men and women, human beings. And so are you, for that matter, despite whatever else you would like to think, or have been told. You are not better than they are, just different. "Humans" are not to be viewed as cattle or to be ruled over by those who are vampires.

Please, if you have no ongoing need to drink blood, Sanguinarius requests that you refrain from doing so. It is a very risky, if not downright dangerous, thing to do, especially in these times. It's not something you should do casually, or to impress or shock your friends or family, or to be different.

If you are underage, I ask that you get parental permission to view this page.

Bloodletting and Blood-Drinking

by Sanguinarius

Sanguinarius strongly urges that if you have no need or ongoing desire to ingest blood, to please refrain from doing so; it is a very risky thing to do. Both bloodletting and blood-drinking can be very hazardous activities, not a game! So, if you are of a mind to engage in such activities as bloodletting and blood-drinking, please -- for God's sake! -- take the time to learn the relevant safety precautions and responsible bloodletting techniques! Otherwise, the risks of disease transmission, infection, permanent scarring or other injury are very high if one is not careful.

Please do not go off on your own and try to cut yourself; however tempting, drinking your own blood is pointless. I am not here to inspire others "to try this at home" and get hurt or worse; I hope to prevent that, but I cannot babysit, monitor, or control everyone who may come across this, so please do your part by acting responsibly!

It is alright to have these feelings/needs; but I would urge you to not just drink blood "casually", just because it's "cool" or shocking. However, if you do have even a mild desire to do so, I do encourage you to learn how to do it safely, so that if it ever does develop into a full-blown craving, you will know what to do and how to do it.

Safely and Sanely Obtaining Blood

by Sanguinarius

I have some words of advice that you all would be wise to heed if you plan upon engaging in certain activities (which if you are a vampire, you do). Unless you have got a death wish, or you just don't care, you should consider what I have to say. Cover your butt and you'll stay out of all kinds of trouble. Actually, this advice should be heeded by anyone who is planning upon indulging in bloodletting.

  1. Make sure your sources (read: "donors," "prey," "victims," whatever...) are "consenting adults";
  2. Make them get tests done before you do anything, people! Don't ever think "It" can't happen to you;
  3. Have them, not you, do the honors, if at all possible; it is technically an act of assault and battery, I believe. Or have them sign some form of consent; it may not help much if they go rogue on you, but at least you will have something in your defence indicating that you did not attack them;
  4. Be as sanitary as possible;
  5. Study Gray's Anatomy. It's got lots and lots of useful color diagrams of the human anatomy. This way, you won't end up maiming or possibly killing somebody because the veins, arteries, tendons, muscles, etc., weren't quite where you thought they would be;
  6. Do not ever take somebody against his or her will, or if s/he seems even the slightest bit unsure as to whether s/he really wants to go through with it (refer to # 3);
  7. Trust what your intuition is telling you, but don't necessarily rely on it blindly.

If you follow this advice -- trust me, you'll rest easier, remain free, and live a lot longer and healthier existence (which is the point of it all, anyway). Do it!

Here is a List of Preliminary Lab Work that I Would Feel Necessary to Run on Any Potential Donor of My Own

by Sangpoursang, who is a registered nurse

1. cbc (complete blood count)... includes numbers and appearance of: red blood cells, white blood cells, (plus a differential that breaks the white blood cells down into types) platelets, hemoglobin and hematocrit (the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells)

2. chem 20, (also called a SMAC, or chemical profile) ... includes electrolytes, kidney function tests, liver function tests, blood glucose, total cholesterol, etc.

3. vdrl, also know by other names ... blood serum test for sexually transmitted diseases including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamidia, etc., but excluding HIV

4. HIV, or elisa test, followed by a western blot ... specifically for HIV / AIDS

* * *

The cbc would tell you if the donor were anemic, in which case you run the risk of making them ill by lowering their oxygen carrying blood cells ... also can detect viral and bacterial illness by the deviation of the white blood cells from the norm ... and certain other conditions such as too few, or too many platelets (the clotting cells).

This test is a preliminary that would pick up such conditions as leukemia, also, although that would have to be confirmed through follow-up testing.

The chem 20, or smac, would tell you if the donor had certain other conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease (a very important consideration for blood transfers, as hepatitis is spread widely through the use of blood products).

The vrdl is pretty self explanatory. Most of the sexually transmitted diseases can be spread just as rapidly through blood products.

The elisa, or HIV test, obviously is the main test anyone who is dealing with blood and blood products is concerned about.

Do not despair if all this medical testing sounds expensive and hard to decipher ... One of the very best ways to have these tests run at NO cost to you or your donor is to have the donor give blood to the local blood bank, first. all these tests are run on any blood donation. If there is anything out of the ordinary with any of them, the blood bank is very quick to tell you that the donation cannot be used and the reason. They may also ask for a family doctor's name to send the results to, if treatment for any condition is warranted.

Better safe than sorry when it comes to blood and blood products; it is just sane to refuse to take a chance.

And any donor that you are likely to want to keep for any extended period of time is worth the time and effort it takes to find these things out. your peace of mind is worth it.

A Medication Precaution

from anonymous

If you take any kind of medications, please check to see what medications your donor or source may be taking as well. The combination of the medications may have adverse effects. Also, even if you are not taking any medications, please determine if your source is, because s/he might be taking something that could have an adverse effect on you.

Safe Feeding Practices

by Interas

Question: So if any of you really do drink blood periodically how do you avoid diseases?

Answer: Common sense, I mean you should try to think of everything, but use these basic guidelines to get you started:

--Get to REALLY know your donor. Create a bond of the most complete trust you can create with that person. Exchange any medical information vital to blood drinking.

--TRUST. Again, you must have the utmost trust in each other.

--Faith. You must be able to have faith in each other that you'll behave responsibly, will know what you're doing before you do it, etc. Example: Don't try to syringe your donor (damn, sounds like an attack or something) unless you're qualified in phlebotomy or related qualifications. Be able to have faith that your partner can do and handle anything related to the act and pending situation.

--Be prepared. You never know what will or could happen. If you can prepare for Martian Spot Sickness when you engage in bloodletting activites, then -- well, shit -- do it! Prepare for anything within reason (whoa, BIG contradiction, sorry) that can happen. This goes along with some of the following...

--Learn First Aid. Know First Aid. Be prepared to use First Aid. Humans are not invincible and neither are vampires. It's a good idea to have sterile pads and gauze or other appropriate dressings for wherever you're taking blood from.

--Stay calm. If you're nervous and shaky...well, this does two things: First, it can decrease trust and faith. Bad bad bad... Second, shaky cuts usually mean painful, messier-than-necessary cuts.

--Use CLEAN, sterile blades/needles. I personally use razors, because I'm not qualified for phlebotomy, and they are sharp and easy to maneuver quickly and carefully. I always use a new razor for a new person, making sure that the blade has been kept clean and that it is still in brand-new condition. If there's a SPECK of rust, it's not used. I use only clean, individually wrapped blades. Before I make a cut or any contact at all if possible, I take a flame, whether from a candle or from a lighter (which I like to avoid, but doesn't matter much), and heat the blade, concentrating on the edge. I usually do this until it about burns my fingers unless I'm holding with pliers or some such tool. Then I wipe the residue off with a clean cloth; a clean shirt, tissue, or lens wipe is sufficient. Only when I'm sure that my blade is clean to I bring the edge into contact with flesh. I'm almost too careful at times with my blades.

--Use as sharp and sturdy a blade as possible. An old, dull blade will be cause more damage and pain than you'd care to have usually. Not to mention, a worse wound is an infection screaming to occur. Beat up blades may also have small metal filings from being chipped off. Rust is also bad... It was just a tiny bit of rust from a piece of barbed wire than ended up putting me into knee surgery when I was little. And the doctors didn't like when little Ryan ended up on their operating table and beat the shit out of them, gifting them with lovely broken noses and faces, bruises, claw and bite marks, and scars they probably have to this day. Just use a clean, new, sterile blade. Don't use your bloodletting utensils for anything other than bloodletting unless you're experienced in sterilizing -- but make it a point not to anyways. It rules out a few unneeded variables.

--Stay away from veins and arteries unless you are absolutely sure and qualified for what/where you're cutting into. When going at my usual area on the arms, I stay away from the underside of the arm if possible. Most vessels are deeper on the top. Good places have been shared as being on the back of the shoulder, lower arm (not sure about upper, as I do it at the lower), top of hand at base of thumb, top of wrist, thigh (I've heard inner thigh? -- Does this hurt much more than other places, anyone?), and there are other popular spots, but I don't remember. I think I read someone say someplace on the breast (??) but that sounds like there are too many nerves there... Someone, let me know, please.

There are more, but all this typing has me forgetting a few basic rules and guidelines. Just use good logic and common sense, and be responsible. Hope this helps...

A Precautionary Tip

from Sanguinarius

Precautionary tip: Be careful about brushing your teeth before you feed. The toothbrush can create miniscule cuts or lacerations on the gums which might provide an entrance into your body for any number of bacteria or viruses. I recommend using mouthwash to gargle beforehand.

X Marks the Spot

by Sarah L.M. Dorrance

I've found that if I make a light X mark with a sharp, fresh razor, I get more blood and cause less pain than if I make a single stroke and try to suck hard to get enough blood out; there's also less chance of scarring provided you keep the cut shallow. can certainly quote me, but I can't really explain why it works that way, just that I know from experience that it does. I have a very shallow cut in my chest that I made when I tried a pseudo-scientific experiment (was trying the effect of my own blood on my donor, who role plays even more than I do and thus has an awful lot of White Wolf ideas in his unconscious mind...of course I got his consent first, given the nature of what I was experimenting with). Anyway, although it was very shallow, he sucked rather hard, and I'm probably going to have a livid red mark there for some time.

On the other hand, I've made cross-shaped cuts on my hand while doing blood magic, and the blood flow was pretty good because of where I made the cut and also because a cross-shaped mark takes less time to close up and thus makes the blood flow more freely (in theory; most minor cuts will close after six and a half minutes under normal circumstances if you don't do anything to keep them open). Although I mark easily, you can't really see where I've cut myself at all, unless you really use a magnifying glass.

The important thing when making a cross-shaped mark is to not cut too deeply -- cutting deeply WILL make a scar, and if you make an X on the flesh, the whole point is to do this so that you get more blood and don't have to make a deep cut or suck hard in the first place.

Safety and Comfort

from Sylvere

When cutting your source on the back, make sure you cut high and toward the outside to avoid wing muscles.

When feeding, it is impolite to lap blood like an animal. And after a prolonged period of time, it starts to hurt the donor like a bitch.

Bloodletting Devices

from Jackie

A safe, scarless and almost painless way of bloodletting is lancets. Diabetics use lancets and they
work great for bloodletting. You can buy them at almost any pharmacy. I have found that the side of the finger close to the tip, while it stings a little, give a good amount of blood with enough pressure.

The Best Way to Let Blood
Information by Bloodwraith and Neff
Based on a topic originally posted to the Vampiric Community Message Board on 14-15 September, 2002

The safest, easiest, most reliable, non-scarring way to get blood is... a blood letter! These are little boxes with three or four razor blades inside. It is spring-loaded, and when you press the button, the blades come down just enough to get about an ounce or two of blood. They are placed on the underside of the forearm, cut about one millimeter (1 mm.) deep, and do not leave scars. Whilst healing, the marks look like a cat has scratched you. They are amazing.

There are new types, which have a kind of knife in them. They are usually used for diabetic children. They are great, and fully sterile, etc. Look them up by typing in "lancets" on a search engine. Neff came across something called the Tenderlett Lancet (

You can buy loads of different styles, which are all different prices, but the cheapest are probably the best to go to buy although they are the ones which hurt a bit. All the really expensive ones do is hurt less, but the cheaper ones are fine; they hurt hardly at all. (Remember that the people who decide whether they hurt or not are really small children). Bloodwraith recommends that you don't buy them on the net, but go to a pharmacy and buy them, because the pharmacist there will tell you how to get the best results. (You do have to say that your child, little brother, or you (if you are a child) has diabetes, because that's what they are meant to be used for, and the pharmacist will not supply one unless you say that).

So have a hell of a safer life with these; they look like they could be quite a useful and safe tool for sang vampires. Very nifty indeed.

Hypodermic Needles
from Demian

Good evening. May I submit some suggestions regarding the use of hypodermic needles for drawing blood. Good to use: 18 gauge butterfly needle. The area where the needle is to be inserted needs to be cleaned with an alcohol prep pad beforehand. Use of antecubital* vein is strongly suggested; this is the space on the other side of your elbow, because the vessels are large there.

The use of a large syringe is not a good idea since drawing the blood causes the vein to possibly collapse due to over pressure. It is best to use a vacutainer device, which is used to collect blood samples. A vacutainer is just a test tube with a rubber stopper on the top. Use an 8.5ml one without any chemical additive, usually called a "red top" tube. Multiple tubes can be used to satisfy the thirst. Withdraw the needle and immediately place a 2" x 2" sterile gauze pad over the puncture and apply pressure for 30 seconds to clot the blood so you don't cause a bruise. The blood is now ready to use by taking off the rubber stopper and putting it into a cup, or drink right out of the tube. Blood can also be refrigerated for use later, but blood will clot up and separate if left in the tube. It is best to decant the blood if not taken immediately.

There are some other technical points I did not touch on, but I fear some of you have heard enough and are now bored with the topic. I beg your pardon, but I feel those who will benefit from this information will be best served by it as it comes from one who is a licensed medical practitioner who happens to be one of them, too.

FYI, I am a registered nurse and have 20 years of experience in drawing blood; just so you know the information is from a medical professional. There was some discussion about the part about "refrigeration" but this is due to my sense of humor and watching Forever Knight.

* antecubital
adj : of or relating to the region of the arm in front of the elbow; "blood was drawn from the antecubital region"

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

New Bloodletting Devices
From Imon

For those of you who use lancets, there's a fairly new type of lancet out. It makes a horizontal or V cut rather than a puncture and produces more blood than the normal round pin-type lancet. Supposedly it's also less damaging to the tissue and heals better. It's sterile, one-time use, easy for anyone to use safely, basically just point and click. I found an online link for a lancet of this type:

On this one you'd want to use the ELG-100 Heavy Lab Model (same price) (comes by the box)

This is a butterfly needle set, for venipuncture. It takes a little more skill; however I've taught people how to use it via email. Email me ( ) if you have questions. It has a tube on it, so it's like a sippy straw. I use the 21 gauge. It's what I always recommend for beginners on venipuncture. You may have to cut and paste the link into your browser since it's long.

There's also a tourniquet on this website:

You can mail order these. Any questions, intended use is home use.

(the registered nurse and unsinkable donor *s)

Blood From Animals

by Sanguinarius

Yes, animal blood will work. But be careful in how it's collected/prepared because there can be any number of nasty things you can catch from it. I'd especially stay away from pig's blood for the same reasons that one should not eat improperly prepared or undercooked pork.

I would say perhaps collect the blood from a medium sized to a large animal so that killing it is not necessary. Anything from a goat-sized animal on up to a cow would do.

What I would do personally, and this would be the least painful and intrusive on the animal, is shave the area you'll collect the blood from first, and cleanse it well, as you would with anyone, and then withdraw the blood with a syringe. (If you don't know how to use a syringe, find someone who does, and have them teach you. I have an article by Mrs. H in my articles section, but don't rely on that; it's just a guid.) The syringe I would suggest have a 20 gauge needle (use a smaller gauge if the animal is smaller), and anywhere from a 3 cc to a 6 cc capacity. (If that is not enough, you can always withdraw more blood. But don't take too much from any one animal; losing too much blood is hard on them just as it is with a human being.)

If you have access to multiple animals, that would be ideal. Hopefully, there wouldn't be any undue questions about the odd shaved areas...If they are your animals, that's great...fewer questions.

Also See:

Drawing Veinous Blood - article by Mrs. H., RN and vampire. Instructions on withdrawing veinous blood with a needle.

Feeding Techniques for Vampires (The Scarlet Moon Organization).

Sarah Dorrance's Blood Safety and Feeding (The "How to Feed Properly" post). -- Mature readers only, please!

Venipuncture Techniques - Troubleshooting & Problems (on SUNY Upstate Medical University site).

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