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Nurse unable to draw blood - tips for tiny veins?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Fallgal, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Fallgal

    Fallgal Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hiya. I went to the GP on Friday and the nurse was to draw 4 vials of blood. She was unable to find a vein. She tried all her tricks to get a vein to appear. She asked me if I had drank any water while fasting and I replied that I hadn't. I have another appointment tomorrow. She said to drink a glass of water before coming to the appointment.

    Has this happened to anyone before and are there any other tips/tricks to get my veins to pop out a bit more?

    Also, she said if she was unable to draw blood tomorrow, that I could go to the hospital to have it done. What would they do differently there?

    Lastly, when the GP told me I was going to have blood work done, she listed several things they would be testing. I think she said blood glucose, liver, kidney - maybe something else? Thyroid? Does anyone know what is standard for these tests?

    Thank you!
     
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Don't worry. The Hospital will probably get bloods without much trouble as they are more experienced. If they fail to then they will use your hand where the veins are more prominent.
     
  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Dehydration makes the veins shrink so make sure you drink plenty before having the bloods taken (provided they haven't told you not to drink beforehand).
     
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  4. Marvin

    Marvin Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It has always been difficult getting blood out of me. I find it helps to drink LOTS of water during the 24 hourts before going for the test, and also to make sure I'm good and warm..... walk to surgery as briskly as possible. Also helps to shake your hands vigorously a few times just before attempting to take blood.
    I find nurses' abilities vary considerably... there is probably one at your surgery who is better at it than the rest... if you can find out who it is and ask to have him/her draw your blood, it would be a good idea. I used to warn the nurses that I am a difficult case, but nowadays I just keep quiet....the less nervous they are, the better!
    If you have to go to the hospital (and I have had to a few times) they will almost certainly be successful.... they are extremely experienced. I gather its a bit of an art, and the really good phlebotomists tend to end up working in the hospital department. They have always managed to get blood out of me with very few attempts.
    So take heart!
     
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  5. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Yes, one phlebotomist told me I was de-hydrated which is why she had a problem drawing blood. I would also make sure I'm warm e.g. don't get straight out of the car on a cold day; wait a while in the waiting area. One nurse found a vein for me on the outside of the upper arm and another, for my wife, used her wrist area.
     
  6. Fallgal

    Fallgal Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, all! I will follow all the advice. Last time I know I was cold. The office is only a short walk away, so I just grabbed a light jacket instead of my normal big coat, gloves, scarf, etc. I will bundle up and walk quickly. I am also drinking lots of water (have been all day), so hopefully it will be successful tomorrow.

    Thanks again!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Always have problems getting my blood, they usually get it from the side of my elbow. Once tried to give blood as a blood donor, my arm swelled to the size of my fist. Never again.
     
  8. Jamrox

    Jamrox Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  9. SewK8

    SewK8 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello
    I really relate to this. I have just spent 9 days in hospital (non diabetes related) and I am black and blue from them trying to put in canula's and from lines tissuing after a few hours.
    My tip is try to keep warm, hydrated (I was unable to drink hence the lines) and relax. They found that the lines used on babies work well for me to take blood but didn't hit the spot for any Iv's required. I have been rubbing anti inflammatory gel on the bruises which has help slot.

    Good luck and relax!


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  10. mchphoto

    mchphoto · Active Member

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    I have the same problem in my arms have had for many years and I am fit and healthy etc, however when they try to get blood out of my arm they fail almost every time (hurts like hell) and they have to use a butterfly needle on the back of my hand. Initially they do not like this, but when they look at my vanes in the arms they do it via the back of the hand. The hospital is OK with this, it's the nurse at the surgery that does not like this as they do not have the supplies, e.g. butterfly needle and they look at me oddly when I mention this. (I have no idea why my vanes in my arms are like this at all).
     
  11. Joe Sweatthang

    Joe Sweatthang Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Fallgal, trying to find your post about you trying to get to grips with finger pricking for blood sample. Here is my observation :- If you lancs at the bottom of what would be your finger print and about 5mm above your finger joint crease, it is completely painless. Infact, I sometime don't feel anything and think the lance didn't fire.
     
  12. mrs gimli

    mrs gimli Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hiya I had this yesterday and the nurse got the gp to take out of my hand. I was told I was to cold as well.
     
  13. SandieB

    SandieB · Active Member

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    I always had trouble when I was a blood donor....they always take from your left arm if you are right handed, and for many many years I had to suffer the doctor poking and prodding and huge great yellow and purple bruises afterwards...then someone asked if anyone had tried the other arm....and that turned out to be fine and no problem. The problem seemed to be that the vein my left arm ran at a funny angle and no one could find it!

    Being warm helps too....the blood always flowed quicker in the summer than in the winter.
     
  14. Thundercat

    Thundercat · Well-Known Member

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    I have the same problem and used to end up feeling like a pin cushion. I got a tip from a phlebotomy nurse to make a fist with your thumb inside your fingers and open and close tightly several times. Really works for me.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  15. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The phlebotomists at the hospital do it all day so they have more practice. 90% of the time they have to have a few goes with me. Once they had to take it from my finger, just next to the finger nail. They apologised beforehand because they said it was painful, but with an arm already like a pin cushion, it didn't feel much different. Very occasionally, everything is OK and they get it first time. On a couple of occasions, the phlebotomist had to get someone more experienced.
     
  16. Dr Zordas

    Dr Zordas · Member

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    This always happens to me... and having tattoos covering the area doesn't help either because of the pain. I always ask them to use the back of my hand now, much easier and no pain at all...
     
  17. Chipy

    Chipy HCP · Newbie

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    Hi Fallagal & everyone else. I'm a bit late replying to this but I thought I should share for the benefit of anyone else as well . I work in a hospital and also take blood and pop cannulas in, even for hospital staff it can be difficult, but there are more tools and different types of needles and tactics that we can use to be able to obtain the sample. Obviously dehydration or low blood pressure can make vein puncture extremly difficult, especially if someone is usually difficult in the first place. In general you need to keep warm, try wearing a glove/pair of gloves, you could even wear them for the procedure as the phlebotomist or blood taker will mostly go in the upper arm, but the glove will help to keep ur arm warm. Also with a tourniquet on lower ur arm down beside you and off the chair for a minute and open and close ur fist/hand repeatedly which will hopefully (usually works) bring the veins up to the surface, at this time the phleb or blood taker can search for the vein to reduce the amount of time the tourniquet stays on (as this can cause bruising). Feel around the centre crevess part of your arm for that bouncy vein, it may even feel like a pimple size (which I have found with some people, that's its just a small spot area where a very small part of the vein has come to the surface), the way to test its a vein and not a tendon or anything else is to keep ur finger on that part and release the tourniquet, if it goes down (the vein, deflating feeling) then it's a vein! Other things are filling up a rubber glove or bag with warm water and applying to the area for 5mins and trying again. Also ask if the blood taker has a butterfly needle preferably 23G size, they have a smaller thin needle and with a extension tube (flexible) connected to it that goes to a thing called a vacutainer which u apply the blood taking bottles to. It's great for control of the needle and delicate as can possibly be for ur vein.
    I hope this becomes help to any of you out there as I am only trying to help and give the best advice I can from my experience. I don't ever comment on these forums usually.
     
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  18. 4aNurse

    4aNurse HCP · Newbie

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    I am a Registered Nurse and have a lot of experience drawing blood. Dehydration is a huge factor for missed sticks... Some people even when hydrated are still just naturally difficult sticks. They either have tiny tiny veins, very deep veins, or are edematous which gives added difficulty. I consider myself an expert at blood drawing and will recommend getting an illumivein vein finder to anyone who is a hard stick. It's $25 and well worth the small price.... You can ask anyone drawing your blood to use it to help them locate the best vein. Honestly I use it when ever I can't find a good vein and it is successful every single time.
     
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  19. Enclave

    Enclave Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member
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    The wife has this problem,they take it from the side of her wrist just above the base of her thumb .. to the back of her hand !
     
  20. destiny0321

    destiny0321 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have tiny veins they also have trouble getting blood out of me normally if 1 cannot do it they get somebody else they eventually get blood out of me do not worry
     
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