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I hate having blood taken!

(20 Posts)
LittleDonkin Wed 16-Jan-13 19:02:08

I have my booking in appointment next week and I am already dreading the MW taking blood. I tend to get slightly hysterical and start crying. Does anyone have any tips on how to make it more bareable? I would rather go through labour than have blood taken! The only part of my labour with DD I hated is when a consultant was trying to get a canular in my hand!

plannedshock Wed 16-Jan-13 19:09:57

I hear you!!!! I'm terrible, I had to have bloods taken weekly for months due to fertility treatment. The way I did it was always book the 1st apt they do, so you are not dreading it all day. Use emla cream (can buy it over the counter or free prescription) dab it on your arms, spread it out, do not rub in, wrap in cling film, give it 20mins-completely numbs the area. I found it helped to go in tell them I hate needles, and to just get on with it as quick as pos!!! Apparently they can use a finer needle too, but it was never about pain for me almost a panic attack!!

LittleDonkin Wed 16-Jan-13 19:15:39

My appointment is at 9.30 so I dont have to think about it all day thank god! I will try and get hold of some of that cream. Same here its not the pain thing as that only lasts a second its the thought of the needle going in. Will they take the blood first before we fill in any paperwork if I ask them to?

LineRunner Wed 16-Jan-13 19:18:19

Could a phlebotomist do it? They are the professional blood-takers, and I have never been hurt by one yet. They are quick, gentle and efficient.

Whoever does it, let them know you are nervous. And look away, and think of something fantastic that you are looking forward to...

SneakyNuts Wed 16-Jan-13 19:24:00

Midwives aren't usually that gentle when taking blood.

Agree with LineRunner, request a phlebotomist I am one so I would say that

LittleDonkin Wed 16-Jan-13 19:24:58

I am in Cyprus and will be having my appointment in a military medical centre and I'm not sure they have a phlebotomist! It would be great if they did as they sound fabulous! When my daughter had her last lot of jabs she was sat on my knee and 2 HVs came at her with a needle going in each leg and I started crying and a nurse had to hold her while I was sat staring at the wall crying. I felt pathetic and awful that I wasnt the one holding her.

Heavywheezing Wed 16-Jan-13 19:26:00

You can get a gel, have a look on eBay or go into boots or lloyds,
That you put on an hour before your bloods are taken.
Cover over with clear plasters wipe it.

Emla cream. Won't feel a thing ametop is better though.

Tiny tube, which you keep in the fridge.

TallyGrenshall Wed 16-Jan-13 19:28:36

Ask them to take the blood first. My MW's used to hmm until I told them to take it or I would sit there and cry until they did grin

LineRunner Wed 16-Jan-13 19:29:45

Ring up and ask, Little Donkin. Can't do any harm.

scissy Wed 16-Jan-13 20:36:42

I also suggest asking to take blood first, and blood pressure last if possible - you can tell which of my appointments were the ones where blood was taken by how high my bp was compared to normal! At least it might have had a chance to go down a fraction by then...

For me it was the thought of it that was the problem, rather than the actual process, luckily my mw realised this pretty quick so would ask me random questions about what i'd been watching on tv last night or whatever as distraction tactics - I concentrated very hard on talking about the Olympics for my first blood test (so much so I don't realise she'd actually done it until it was all over and she said I was free to go...)

fuzzywuzzy Wed 16-Jan-13 20:42:57

I faint at needles every single time. I once had a fit during bloods, scared the crap out of everyone.

Tell the nurse, they're really good about it & very understanding.

CalamityJ Wed 16-Jan-13 22:52:39

Midwives can't actually get any blood out of me as my veins are rubbish apparently (been told that by every health professional for years so it's not midwives being rubbish BTW). Since, and including, my booking in appointment I've always gone to the hospital and got blood taken by a phlebotomist. They get the vein first time every time instead of fishing around for it (which is the sensation I dread, not the pain) and the midwife gives me a form at my scheduled appointment (e.g. the booking in one) and I have to go to the hospital within a week. Yes it's a faff but I'd much rather that than be butchered. You say you're in Cyprus but there should be a trained phlebotomist at your local hospital. At university there was one day a week when the phlebotomist came to the medical centre so it could be the case at yours and you just need to time it to coincide with your dates/scheduled midwife appointments.

butterflyexperience Wed 16-Jan-13 23:13:19

I hate them too hmm
Had to take dh in with me
I know I'm a big baby and it doesn't hurt that much, just the idea if it sheesh!

VickyU Thu 17-Jan-13 00:52:00

I'm the same as you and I have to have bloods taken every week. A few things...as everyone says, ask for a phlebotomist to do it - it really does make the world of difference. But also, perhaps more importantly, make sure they use butterfly needle rather than a normal needle. Lastly, ask for them to tilt the chair back or to lie on a bed to avoid fainting, look away and breath through your nose and out through your mouth. Well thats what I do anyway!

Fluffeh Thu 17-Jan-13 07:18:51

I used to be terrified of needles (got used to it after 6 years of monthly lumbar punctures). When I knew I was having blood taken I'd recite the alphabet loudly. It took my mind off what was happening and gave me something to concentrate on other than the needle.
Anything recited over and over may help smile. Although the doctors and nurses probably thought I was a bit crazy :D.

usernamegoeshere Thu 17-Jan-13 15:32:54

I have terrible veins, always find it best to ask for a phlebotomist to do it and also make sure you are properly hydrated before you have it done as it will make the job easier (& thus faster!).

LittleDonkin Wed 23-Jan-13 19:34:22

Well my booking in appointment did not go well yesterday! I requested that the midwife take my bloods first so I wasnt stressing for the whole appointment. I explained that I didnt like the feeling of the vials being clicked on and off so she said she would get all the blood out in one go in a syringe. I started crying before I even got lied down and it hurt like hell and after she had finished she said that way hurts more as she had to use a bigger needle! I now have a lovely bruise. I saw my GP today and there was a note on my file saying they didnt get enough blood yesterday so I need them doing again tomorrow ARGH! I asked the GP there and then for a prescription of emla cream, hopefully that will take the edge of my fear tomorrow fingers crossed!

Pinkflipflop Wed 23-Jan-13 20:01:18

Poor you, that sounds very distressing. I wonder what makes getting blood taken so sore for some people as I genuinely don't feel a thing. Having a smear test on the other hand I find horrifically painful while other people don't notice it. Wonder if it is the same principle?

They will prob find it easier to get blood out of you during pregnancy.
Drink lots of water before hand, couple of pints.
Make sure your arms are warm so wrap up on your way there.
Ask for a butterfly needle if possible, they are smaller. Only problem is that it may take the blood longer to collect but its easier to go in iykwim?
All of these should make it as easy and as painless as possible.

I hate blood tests, but have had to get used to them for various reasons. It helps if you are totally relaxed - it will hurt if your tense up. Try the yoga relaxation technique of tensing up all the muscles down your arm before hand and then relaxing them all. Focus on the wall opposite and don't look at the needle, and try talking to take your mind off things. If you are ever offered an appointment with a junior doctor decline. I had a very bad experience with a junior doctor who had no experience of taking blood and was basically told to learn using me as the guinea pig. Not fun!

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