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Arm heavy and painful after blood test

(8 Posts)
Littlegreenleaves Tue 30-Nov-10 21:10:09

I had bloods taken at my booking in last week. I have thin veins but the nurse didn't comment on this, although afterwards she did make the unprompted comments "I hope you don't bruise" and "People tell me I'll find it hard to get blood out of them but I can get blood out of a stone". Which tells me that although I didn't say anything and she didn't say anything she recognised getting blood from me is not easy.

Anyway, I did bruise. Oddly not at the puncture site, but randomly around the lower arm. Arm has been sore ever since, mainly around the bruising.

Last night I woke up in pain from my upper arm. It felt like there was a band being squeezed around it hard, and my lower arm and hand felt slightly numb - like a cold sensation inside (although skin was warm to the touch). A bit like when you've had an anaesthetic and you can feel your arm going cold. It was so painful I couldn't go back to sleep. At 6am I took 2 paracetomols and the pain gradually went away. It came back at 12 when I took 2 more.

Has anyone else had this? How long did it last? I am worried I have a clot or else something is wrong because the blood test was nearly a week ago and the original bruising is fading, so why has the pain stepped up? Is it a good sign the paracetomol works on it or bad in that I will have to rely on painkillers?


EightiesChick Tue 30-Nov-10 21:15:26

I have had clots and it isn't behaving like a clot in my experience. However, it does sound like something you should get checked out. Numbness like that needs to be investigated, even leaving the pain aside. I would try and get a GP appointment tomorrow or even go to a walk-in centre to get it looked at.

How is the pain now? Has it continued at the same level?

CoteDAzur Tue 30-Nov-10 21:20:34

I would not take painkillers. Pain is a good thing as it tells you there is something wrong with your body.

What you are describing would worry me. I really think you should have it checked out as as quickly as possible.

Littlegreenleaves Tue 30-Nov-10 21:31:29

Hi, thanks for replies. At the moment I can feel a dull ache in my bicep area, mainly on the outside (a bit like how I imagine getting a "dead arm" punch to the arm feels!) and from the elbow to wrist my arm feels tingly and icy (inside, not the skin itself). It's uncomfortable and I'm very aware of it, but at the moment it's not as painful as it was last night. That was a dull heavy painful ache. There's no redness or discernible swelling (as I think a clot would have) just the bruising that's now fading.

At least paracetomol works, I'll give it til sleep time before I take any and hopefully I'll get an OK night although being pg I obviously can't keep taking them indefinitely or indeed anything stronger. I'll go to docs tomorrow too...

whomovedmychocolate Tue 30-Nov-10 21:32:59

Sounds like the vein has blown. I get this sometimes when I have canulas put in. Paracetamol will help. It'll pass.

Littlegreenleaves Wed 01-Dec-10 17:18:49

Thanks WMMC smile I find that very reassuring.

I still woke up in the night with tingling/slightly numb arm and fingers but no pain smile which is progress. Haven't had to take paracetomol all day either and I think the tingling is reducing. I applied a hot water bottle to the area last night as I read this helps the nerves relax. I read on google (yes, I know...!) that arm pain after blood tests is a symptom of nerve damage.

The nerve damage can be permanent shock as the needle hits or twangs a nerve on the way in and it doesn't always recover hence the tingling and numbness. It's a little known thing but it does happen.

I am going to be sooo much more careful in future with how my blood is taken, the nurse didn't use a tourniquet or ask me to clench my hand, I thought it was too quick to get a vein at the time because my veins are so tiny. I think she rushed and didn't take her time - now I know you can get permanent nerve damage from this if you're unlucky...

whomovedmychocolate Wed 01-Dec-10 18:03:30

Next time clench your fist for a few minutes in the waiting room to encourage the veins to pop up.

CoteDAzur Wed 01-Dec-10 22:37:49

Or, go to another lab where they know how to take a blood sample from damaging your arm.

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