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S001
Thu Dec 2, 2010, 06:00 PM
My father (like everybody) does not enjoy being pricked constantly for blood tests and transfusions. At times, when the nurses can't find a vein, they prick repeatedly at different points till they find one.

Needless to say, this is frustrating and painful. Is there really nothing that can be done to ease the pain or maybe even make it easier to find a vein?

Marlene
Thu Dec 2, 2010, 06:36 PM
Have they tried placing a warm pack on his arm for the CBCs/transfusions punctures to see if that helps. There are also devices that can be used to help locate veins in those difficult to stick.

Here's one example: https://www.venoscope.com/store/page/2/Instructions-For-Use-VTO3

For shots, I would put an ice pack on the area to numb it.

riccd2001
Thu Dec 2, 2010, 07:12 PM
A warming blanket for 5 minutes helps me a lot.:)

S001
Thu Dec 2, 2010, 07:50 PM
Have they tried placing a warm pack on his arm for the CBCs/transfusions punctures to see if that helps. There are also devices that can be used to help locate veins in those difficult to stick.

Here's one example: https://www.venoscope.com/store/page/2/Instructions-For-Use-VTO3

For shots, I would put an ice pack on the area to numb it.

No, they've never tried anything else other than the 'prick and check'. Sometimes one prick suffices, other times, it's hopeless.

And thank you for information on the device. Interesting, but for this, the hospital nurses would have to be trained to use the device right?

S001
Thu Dec 2, 2010, 07:52 PM
A warming blanket for 5 minutes helps me a lot.:)

Will ask my dad to try this for sure.

lindy
Thu Dec 2, 2010, 11:26 PM
Thanks S001 for this thread.

I also have the same problem when it comes to needle pricks.
The nurses always have problem finding my vein to take blood for cbc.
They complained my veins are too fine.
The process always take longer time then others.
I'm scared as its quite painful & I do get a patch of bruise after that (maybe cos of my low platelets??) & takes weeks to heal.:(

Maybe the next round I try the warm blanket or sweater as suggested by riccd2001. Thanks.

Marlene
Fri Dec 3, 2010, 09:03 AM
I would think they would need some training but from what I read, it shouldn't take much. I've read where some have used a flashlight to help locate veins. I think the bigger issue is for them to procure a device.

Also, I remember we used a numbing cream 20 minutes prior John doing his sub-Q desferral to numb the area before sticking himself in the belly for his nightly iron chelation. I can't remember the name but you can get it without a prescription. It's usually behind the pharmacy counter at the drug store so you have to ask for it.

Finally....regarding the bruising from needle sticks....warm moist heat will help bring up circulation to the area helping your body to clear the bruising pretty fast. John would get huge bruises on his belly from time to time and would have to suspend his chelation therapy until they cleared. We found the warm moist heat really helped a lot.

Greg H
Fri Dec 3, 2010, 12:29 PM
This is probably so obvious I shouldn't even post it, but a very nice phlebotomist at Wake Forest once told me that it is very, very important to be thoroughly hydrated before getting stuck.

So I always try to drink lots and lots of water several hours prior to an appointment with the vampires.

Greg

Neil Cuadra
Fri Dec 3, 2010, 01:16 PM
A lot depends on the skill of the phlebotomist. I've found some to be excellent and some mediocre when I've donated blood. They each have their own little routine. When they use warm-packs, I think it's both to bring blood to the surface to find the vein and to keep it flowing once they start. None of them can ever find good veins in my right arm, no matter how much I hydrate, so I always donate from my left. It's too bad that I can't alternate.

I rarely see the same nurse twice but if you are at a facility with a smaller staff you might notice which phlebotomists do the best job and ask for them the next time. After months and months having blood taken regularly for CBCs, my wife learned who the best phlebotomists were.

An aside... Something I've casually wondered: If we spent our spare time using arm weights to build up our arm muscles, would that make it easier for them to find veins near the surface?

S001
Fri Dec 3, 2010, 01:30 PM
@lindy - My dad does get bruises at times too, though he doesn't have very low platelets per se.

@Marlene - Thank you so much for the tips!

@Greg H - Yeah, anything to satiate the blood suckers :)

@Neil Cuadra - My dad sees a different staff most of the time. But he will be keeping a track of the better and not so good nurses now.

And about building up arm muscles, I read on Google that doing so does make it easier to find the veins.