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Difficulty with blood draw

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Old 02-10-2007, 01:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Scottsdale, AZ U.S.A.
Posts: 74
enigma3 HB User
Difficulty with blood draw

Hi everyone,

I am sort of concerned lately about my health, but it is probably just my paranoia setting in again temporarily, since I seem to have been trying to fight off a mild flu bug (again.. it seems to happen frequently since I work in a hospital).

Anyway, my question is, have any of you had problems with someone being able to draw blood when you are at a lab? I had to get it drawn yesterday for my primary care doc., and the guy who tried to draw it couldn't get anything to come out when he tried it the first time. And then when he tried the other arm, it finally came out but was slow at first.. I asked him if that happens very often with people, and he said no. That is what freaked me out, because I thought it was not that uncommon. I had it happen a few times actually a few years ago, when I was in the hospital for losing a lot of blood from a surgery (long story). Whenever they tried to draw my blood, it was really difficult. And even awhile after I had been out of the hospital (and still somewhat anemic), it was difficult for one of the phlebotomists.

Anyway, I am hoping maybe this is something other people truly do experience some of the time, and I am even wondering if this might have anything to do with the body being a little under the weather? Or possibly is it related to having the autoimmune problems? I definitely wasn't feeling terrific yesterday (when I got the blood drawn), and besides feeing like I had a mild flu bug, I hadn't had nearly enough sleep the night before..

Thanks to any of you who can shed some light on this for me, it is greatly appreciated!!

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Old 02-10-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NH
Posts: 33
NHCasey HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

You're not alone. I've always been difficult to get blood from. I've been sent from one place to another to have someone else try. I've found that using the baby needles helps, and drinking a ton of water before I go. Try it, and good luck.

Old 02-11-2007, 06:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Baybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

I also have problems when labs, docs, or hospital tries to draw blood from me but I have no idea if it's lupus related. My sister, on the other hand, also has problems getting blood or finding veins, but she is diabetic and there is a correlation with that. Many many yrs ago I went to a derm and due to the med I was taking, i had to have blood tests done constantly. I always came outta there with 4 needle marks...they try one wrist, then the other, then the underside of the elbow area, then the other...Or other labs I'll have to sit there forever pumping my hands and they push around on my veins forever. No where ever seems to get it in one try, though.

Old 02-11-2007, 02:19 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
gunner00 HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

I have been searching these boards for anything that may be similar to situations I have experienced. Wow, didn't realize that this was a common problem.

In high school I became sick and very dehydrated. Was hospitalized they spent over an hour sticking me to get an IV in place. It was horrible and they said it was because of the dehydration.
In college I was hospitalized again with the chicken pox (all internal -throat, stomach, ect). They dug around in my arms trying to get a vein. They blamed it on me being so sick/lack of fluids.

Since then when ever I get my blood drawn they have difficulty. My veins feel good and they never believe that it will be difficult to get a sample. Then they stick me and its like rubber. My veins bounce away. They usually need to use baby needles, stick me several times, and occasionally the draw is very slow. Drinking additional water does nothing to help the situation.

What makes this really interesting to me is that I have recently undergone blood test to determine what is causing my chronic fatige and pain that I have experienced for over 3 years. My first tests showed positive for possible lupus antibodies. I was taking doxicyclin for acne at the time so the doctor thought drug induced lupus. Been off the drug for over a year and recent test have show positive centromere antibody. Doctor has had a wait and see approach. I have trying different meds and they have failed to help. He has been leaning toward fibromyalgia because he feels my physical symtoms/exams don't match my blood work results.

I am not convinced that it is FM and have been searching to find answers.

Old 02-11-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NH
Posts: 33
NHCasey HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

Guess it's happening to more than me, lol. However, the lab told me to drink the extra water and I really load up, day before, day of and combining the baby needle...knock wood, I haven't had any issues since. It's easy to try.

Last edited by NHCasey; 02-11-2007 at 03:31 PM.

Old 02-11-2007, 03:08 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: California
Posts: 58
dragonfly05 HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

They always have to use a baby needle on me to draw blood...I was told I have thin veins, so it's the only way. Couple that with my really low blood pressure and it's not fun at all!

Old 03-02-2007, 12:40 PM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: atl, ga, usa
Posts: 4
lupusolider HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

whoever that was that drew your blood HAD to be new or he just lied to you. ive had lupus for 18 years now and ever time i go, its always a battle. even today, i have to tell them,...."look, ya'll got 3 times to stick me. if you cant get it then oh well". i pisses me off cause it after they stick you so many times, its like they get unempathetic! if i dont stop them, they will keep sticking me. i tell them they make me feel like im a pin cushion. one time i got stuck like 6 times. by like 3 different people. (the labs were really important! ha ha ha) but i was told by a nurse that if they just need a hemoglobin count, they can ***** your finger. theyd rather get it from your viens, so they wont tell us about the finger. anyway, good luck with those viens!

Old 03-03-2007, 07:37 AM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 331
ErinS64 HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

I have had to undergo many IV treatments and alot of sticks... I have the same problem. What I have found truly does help is to take a bottle of water with you to the doctor. Make sure you drink it on the way there and during the visit if possible. Alot of the time the problem is dehydration. It makes the veins harder and they will roll. Mine always look so good till they try to stick me. I tell them flat out, DO NOT DIG. Sticking doesnt hurt, it is the digging that gets me. Since I started drinking water, I dont have as big of a problem with it. Besides, you know they are going to want a urine sample too so might as well...

Dallas, TX

Old 03-03-2007, 09:49 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 138
Allegra HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

I was about to go to another site and found this. It is sooooo good to know I'm not alone in this. I need to go every 4 weeks for my blood letting ceremony and dread it each time. What I have learned is to always drink lots of water before hand and to tell the tech that you have problems. I start right away with "I'm a roller" And then I ask them to use something called a "butterfly". It's used in babies and people like us. Most of the time I have the same tech at the same lab but if he isn't there I say something like "oh Where is so? He knows how awful I am and always uses the butterfly." That way they aren't being told their job. One tech I told I outright I needed a butterfly said she didn't think so and proceeded to really injure my arms! Hope this helps.

Old 01-12-2008, 12:25 PM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
kindofaddraig HB User
Re: Difficulty with blood draw

I also just experienced it. It took them over 5 minutes to get two tubes of blood out of me. I have elevated ANA and the real ironic part of it is that it was my Sjogrens, ANA and DNA tests that they were drawing. Maybe I was dehydrated, don't know, but it's been getting harder and harder to get blood out of me. The phlebotomists where all gathering around to see it - they had never seen it happen before. THAT made me feel comfortable for sure.

No, you aren't alone in it.


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