Blood draws...how to make it easier for an "impossible stick?"

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

dizzygrl85
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/12/2011 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I've been having some weird dizzy spells/migraine stuff for a few years, and my doctors are still trying to get to the bottom of it. In the last week, I've had to get a CT with an IV and 2 blood draws for various tests, and will need another MRI with an IV next week. The problem is, I'm a "hard stick." Whenever I have blood drawn or an IV, doctors never can find a working vein without poking me 3 or 4 times, then calling for a more experienced doctor to try yet again, usually yielding little blood. Then twice I have blacked out in the middle of it. Not really from fear, more like a body reaction I can't control at all. Though I'm obviously a little nervous and anxious, knowing it takes a few tries. Once, I was stuck strapped down in an MRI, not allowed to move for 2 hours while they tried to find a doctor who could put in my IV correctly! (grr) I hydrate myself immensely beforehand, and put warm packs on my arms...not sure what else to do!

Obviously I try not to have blood drawn unless absolutely necessary, because it's such an awful ordeal for me. And now after having it twice already this week, I learn that because we're signing up for life insurance, I'll have to do one yet AGAIN. And I'm concerned that it won't be a very experienced person...

My question is, does anyone know any way I can get out of having to do this, especially considering I had a full blood panel last week? Has anyone successfully been able to send the company their recent tests instead? Any advice?

And I'm curious, as fellow migraineurs, how many of you are difficult sticks?

LJB
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/14/2011 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
dizzygrl85
I empathize with you on the stick. I too have that problem. I try to remember the best techs & when required to have blood drawn I request that person to do it. Guess you've noticed that some are so much more skilled than others. Actually the best vein I have is in my hand just above my thumb so I try to show it to them right off.  My mother had same problem & they would call the air vac ambulance techs to do her.
Don't know that any of this will be helpful to you other than knowing you are definitely not alone with this problem.
Good Luck,
LJB

lexique
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/15/2011 4:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Being a hard stick definately sucks!

Have you ever had the tech use a "butterfly" needle? They are usually used on children and sometimes with the elderly but they can be effective for adolescence and adults as well. The needle is smaller and as a result can clot off more easily if there is not good flow in/out of the vein, depending if it is an IV or strickly a blood draw, but if they are in the right vein they can work very well. And being smaller they cause less trauma which often means that they can be successfully threaded into a more difficult vein than larger needles can be.

Also, some people have really great veins in their feet. These are very rarely used for blood draws but I have come across a few techs who are willing to give them a try. Access is the same as the veins in the arms and the hands, but since they are less traumatized sometimes they are easier to access.

Other than than, like LJB said, find the good techs and don't be afraid to demand that they be the ones that stick you. And if you are in a hospital and there are EMS personnel around, they're usually pretty good (yes there are some that SUCK, but most are at least decent). They're used to getting IVs while bouncing down highways or in poorly light bedrooms or back alleys and can usually find a vein good for getting blood pretty successfully as well. And don't be afraid to tell them which veins are the ones to go for. They may have the training but you know your own body best!

Good luck!

dizzygrl85
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/15/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I've had the experience with the EMT techs...once, after the MRI docs tried in vain for a while, they finally called an EMT tech in, and she did it on the first try! :) I'm still unsure whether a butterfly needle works better for me or not. Usually that's the first go-to once it doesn't work the first time, since they can see I have small, hard to find veins. But other times, they try a butterfly needle, it doesn't work, so they try a big needle and it works better. So I honestly have no clue what the best one is!

Last time I asked the nurse which needle she was using when she got it to work, and she said it was a "23 needle."

lostinthewoods
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/18/2011 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
They used to be able to use the butterfly needles on me. Those don't even seem to even work any more. I have Raynauds along with my migraines. That has caused most of the veins that they always could get in my hands, well they have all gone. My veins are very small and buried deep, to begin with. The tricks with heating pads do not seam to work anymore, my veins are getting worse. This may be a little over the top, but this is what they did for me. They just brought in the ultrasound machine. There is a doctor that just took special training for it, within a few short minutes they had all the blood they wanted. They gave me a bit of lidocain before they began cause they had to go really deep. It was way better than having the techs/nurses go digging for the veins.
 
 

No Needles
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/1/2012 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I went today to have blood drawn and a had a reoccurring problem. The experienced technician was able to access a vein 3 times and none of the veins would give blood. I drink plenty of water beginning the day before and day of the blood draw. We warmed my hand, but I will have to return to try again. I get so nervous because I know there can potentially be this problem. Today I passed out completely. Is there something I can do to get the blood to flow out of the vein into the needle?

weirswalker
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/22/2014 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
HI there ! I am an unusually hard stick too and was recently in the hospital..they constantly wanted to draw blood and after a week I became unable to deal with it mentally and came unglued. My question is about having a PIC line (not sure of spelling) put in my neck. As I understand it, blood samples can be taken out as well as IV fluids put in..is this correct, should I know anything else, for example, how much does it hurt and will I have a scar..thank you

Moons
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/22/2014 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a very hard stick they have to get me like 5 or 6 times last time I went to the er they had to use an ultrasound machine to find a vein so they could take blood and give me an I'v so I know how that feels

Sunny13
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 4/22/2014 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I too have trouble with blood draws...they always have trouble getting a vein. I'd say you are doing good by hydrating and using the warming packs. If you can, find out if your hospital or one near you has the capability of using the ultrasound machine to locate veins. I feel for you. I usually get stuck a few times before success. I have realized that for me, the hands are generally the best bet.

When going thru a blood draw, make sure to let them know ahead of time that you sometimes get light headed or pass out, and I guess sometimes it helps to focus on your breathing or have a conversation w/ the tech or someone else to occupy your mind.

Hope you find some answers....good luck!

weirswalker
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/23/2014 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had the ultrasound machine used on me..unfortunately the machine can locate a vein, but it needs to be moved from the vein once it's located, then the person drawing your blood must try to pinpoint where the machine found the vein, visually..bringing you right back to square one..if the person can do that, you are all set..if not you will still have to suffer through multiple sticks. I have used all the other methods that were suggested, without much success..that's why I wanted info about the PICC line insertion..thank you

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4831
   Posted 4/28/2014 10:04 PM (GMT -6)   
weirswalker

I have had a a few PICC lines. Mine were in my upper arm though. They are very nice if you are needing constant blood draws or IVs. It is a surgical procedure where they gain access to the larger vein and it needs to be flushed regularly and the dressing changed every 7 days IIRC. Mine had 2 and 3 ports.

I have had great results with them and not so great results. It all depends on how good the PICC nurse is. I have had a couple plug up and they have to use a clot buster to clear it. Since it accesses a large vein you also have to be very careful about how things are handled with the PICC line.

I have had one central line in my neck after a surgery, but that was just a single port. I haven't personally seen a PICC line in a neck. There is also a post they can put under the skin around the collar bone. It shows as a round bump area under the skin.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11

weirswalker
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/28/2014 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Bill ! that answered some questions for me..now if you could answer another..when I go in for my gastro procedure I want to ask the anesthesia person to do this after I am put under, by a reg IV in my arm..that is about all they will be able to do, is one IV in my arm, that's how screwed up my veins are..can I ask for this PICC line, is it a choice for me to make because my blood draws will be often and painful ? last time it was a "send me mental health time"..I got to have a port..and I don't want a dr who will poo poo me..am I being realistic, that this sounds like a reasonable request ? thank you

Sunny13
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 4/29/2014 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you have such a difficult time with blood draws. I believe I already posted on this, but reading your last message brought up some thoughts. (And lately, I can't seem to keep my mouth shut, so I hope you don't mind)

Have you discussed the idea of a PICC line with your doc yet? You want them to do both things (gastro stuff and picc line) in one trip? I'm sure people have had things like that done before. I assume you are going to set everything up at an appt before your procedure? I was a little confused with the way you wrote it. At first, I thought you were going to go in for the procedure and just say, "hey, by the way, can you also put in a PICC line while I'm asleep?" Yeah, I guess that would be a bit crazy!

I hope your doc is able to figure out a good solution to your problem. Keep us posted!

weirswalker
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/29/2014 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
That's exactly what I'm going to say..lol...they can put it in after they knock me out by IV in my arm for the procedure..I'm sure I will get pancreatitis again like I did with the stent emplacement, and that means constant blood work..by day 5 of it last time I was going to need sedation or restraint..after so many painful blood draws I couldn't take it mentally..thanks for your replies

medmess
New Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/13/2014 6:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I am also a very difficult stick and have become very anxious over the process. Several infiltrates have resulted in serious complications. Even the most experienced IV therapists and ICU nurses have had trouble getting an IV started. When you are getting ready for surgery you are dehydrated so the problem is worse. I've had 4 PICC's - 3 in arms and one in chest near collarbone. PICC's can have dangerous complications and limitations - blood clots, infections, swimming limitations, activity limitations, and weekly dressing changes and skin irritation from the dressing. I've experienced the blood clots and infections. Having a PICC put in your chest is fairly uncomfortable. I've always been very excited to have mine removed and doctors tell me having a PICC is a last resort for treating serious infections. Recent advice given to me is as follows - Request that the anesthesiologist start the IV and given specific reasons to support you being a difficult stick so they don't dismiss you as just another patient making this very common statement.

weirswalker
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/13/2014 7:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I had the procedure that I was worried about getting the IV for...they got it on the 2nd stick although it was very difficult..the anesthesiologist promised that if things were to go bad if i needed the procedure again, he would sedate me just enough to get a PICC line started..he even pointed out the best place for the stick after the nurse had trouble on the first attempt..you need to keep asking for what you want..or you'll never get it..
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, September 30, 2014 4:50 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,230,588 posts in 248,200 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157125 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, CDwarrior12.
439 Guest(s), 28 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
billo, Lou12345, MissGigi, Christine1946, Calibren, dybeye, kazbern, orchid_rain, Sherrine, inspiredbyangels, w0hll, countryhearts, Walton, Elmesanoya, trin123, churey360, Traveler, msx999, Big Mac, Abilene, crohns1234, mjw11, LupronJim, GibsonGal, trimix, Louise74, Delmar, LanieG


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest  Follow HealingWell.com on YouTube
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2014 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer