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site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.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,
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
Genetic counseling is recommended before you have
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
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.