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Posting here for traffic - Quick question about blood tests

(14 Posts)
thebestnameshavegone Sun 11-May-14 15:20:43

Just a quick question...

Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that someone trying to take blood from me will be successful? It has always been very difficult to get blood out of me, I'm not sure why. Doctors/Nurses/HCP's have always struggled to a) find my veins and b) get blood out of them when they do.

I am 28 wks pregnant and need to have a blood test (I think to test for antibodies and an iron count). I went to the hospital last Thursday because the phlebotomist (sp?) there is very good and has got blood from me with no difficulty before. But she was on holiday! Another nurse tried for about 15 minutes and failed. My arms are bruised to bits and I look like a pin-cushion. At other times, other people have had to resort to getting blood out of my hands but I find this very painful and last time it happened (at about 12 weeks) the top of my hand was numb for a couple of weeks as I think they hit a nerve.

I have to get this done tomorrow in order for the results to be back in time for my MW appointment this week. Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that whoever tries will be successful?

for info - I am overweight but not obese (pre-pregnancy BMI of high 20's) and I have normal blood pressure and usually a good to high iron count, 15 when last measured.

If anyone has any ideas I would be most grateful!!

justkeeponsmiling Sun 11-May-14 15:37:55

I've seen an anaesthetist filling a rubber glove with quite warm water and pressing it against the area of skin where the vein is they want to try and bleed for 5 mins or so with great result. Also make sure you are well hydrated, as it is really hard to bleed "dry" people.
Hth

SnowyMouse Sun 11-May-14 15:49:02

I'd be interested to hear any tips, I have regular blood tests, but they have ended up using my feet the last few times.

Lucie99 Sun 11-May-14 15:53:17

When I give blood the nurse gets me to continually squeeze a squishy ball ... I'm difficult to get blood form and this seems to help.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 11-May-14 15:54:16

Definitely drink plenty before you go.

CoteDAzur Sun 11-May-14 15:56:30

Go to another lab where hopefully someone more skilled will take your blood?

SellyMevs Sun 11-May-14 16:03:19

I have awful veins which have only got worse in pregnancy. I always go up to the hospital to have them because otherwise the GP surgery will never manage it.

Keep warm - wear long sleeve tops/jacket for a while before your test and don't take your coat off until you are in the room. Even a quick dash across the car park without my coat on can make my tiny veins disappear completely.

Drink loads of water - stay hydrated and keep drinking water.

My veins are better in my hands, but no one likes to try there first so I always insist. It can be a little more painful, but my arms are a total waste of time trying. So I find washing my hands or running them under warm water helps them just before my test.

I've had years of blood tests and it's just getting worse and worse.. My 28 week tests are in a couple of weeks time. I've also had 2 GTT's and always get the finger prick one to avoid the trouble with my veins!

unlucky83 Sun 11-May-14 16:05:23

I always have it taken from the middle vein on the crook of my elbow - it doesn't look like the best one but it is - and I get minimum bruising there...
Make sure strap is tight before- and put something warm on it before, pump your hand ...and try not to be too tense (smile much easier said than done I know)
BTW - taking blood from your feet? And that was better? OMG That has made me feel queasy...
I've never needed a blood test from my feet but once I had to have a fluid injected into my feet (so a cannula put the top of both) - it was a complete nightmare - had my feet in warm water, had bruises from them trying to 'tap up' the veins, never mind the failed needle attempts -it took about 30 mins - more in fact - but my feet are really thin and bony - still - eek sad

Keep your arms warm, drink plenty of water beforehand and try to relax - know that it easier said than done when you are anticipating multiple stabbings! Also ask if they can use a butterfly needle. Many sympathies, I've often been told it's like trying to get blood from a stone when getting my blood taken.

CoteDAzur Sun 11-May-14 16:06:23

I don't understand what you think drinking lots of water will do.

Any effect will be temporary (you will soon piss out the excess water) and that effect is not a desirable one - diluted blood means skewed test results.

thebestnameshavegone Sun 11-May-14 16:23:09

thanks for all the replies. keeping my arms warm isn't something I had tried before so I'll definitely do that.

cote I have been told before that drinking water does help. i'm not sure why, its maybe more to do with making sure you aren't dehydrated and therefore making it harder than it needs to be, IYSWIM?

SnowyMouse Mon 12-May-14 15:37:40

They only use my feet because they can't get any from my elbow or hand, it hurts worst from the feet.

thebestnameshavegone Mon 12-May-14 15:46:55

i went back for my tests this morning. the good phlebotomist was back from holiday. she didn't try my arms because they are still so bruised from last week, she said she didn't want to waste time and make them worse. but she got blood from my hand first go with no pain. result!
snowy having to use your feet sounds grim sad

unlucky83 Mon 12-May-14 15:47:41

Sorry Snowy I meant it as poor you flowers...
I remember my needles in feet episode because it was so awful ...the thought of that being the only way to get blood for a simple blood test makes me go weak at the knees...flowers

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