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DS 's blood test appointment was awful!!

(29 Posts)
genieinabottle Mon 08-Nov-10 20:38:13

sad
My poor baby had to endure well over 5 minutes of the nurse sticking the needle in both his arms.

He was screaming his head off, i and nurse no.2 were restraining him, in the end he was just yelling but had no tears at all, he was as rigid as a board on my lap.

Nurse no.2 was talking to him, and he had lost all eye contact and was so upset. And i was upset to see him like this, that i got angry and told her he is autistic you know, he is upset and he won't answer you! I don't usually come out with it in that way, but she was annoying me, it had written he has autism on his blood forms, she could see he wasn't answering so why the hell was she insisting!! grrr...

Then nurse no.1 announced that she hadn't managed to get the blood needed! shock
She said the cold spray used to numb the skin can make the veins disappear! hmm
She said next time we'll have the cream.

So we have another appointment to repeat the ordeal next Monday. sad
I'm dreading it as he will remember the hospital and i suspect it will be worse.

DS was sobbing for 45 minutes after when we had got out of the room.
He got a new Space Chimp dvd for being a brave boy.
But i don't feel brave about having to go back next week. confused

ShadeofViolet Mon 08-Nov-10 20:44:13

Poor you and poor DS

Al1son Mon 08-Nov-10 20:46:03

I have every sympathy. The same thing happened to DD2 when she was 4. They tried for ages without the cream without success.

We went back a few days later and with cream but only got a tiny bit.

They rang that night asking us to take her straight to the children's ward to do another one because the results were very concerning. It turned out to be because they had changed the balance of the cells but pulling too hard in the syringe plunger and it made it look as if she had leukaemia.

Then they phoned and asked me to take her back again the next week because they still didn't have enough for the test they originally requested.

By that time she just shut down every time they came near her. That was worse than the screaming.

anotherbrickinthewall Mon 08-Nov-10 20:46:40

oh no. was it definitely a nurse and not a phlebotomist? just that phlebotomists tend to be really good at getting it done quickly with minimum fuss IME!

Lougle Mon 08-Nov-10 20:57:54

genie sad your poor wee boy.

I have this ordeal for DD1 tomorrow.

genieinabottle Mon 08-Nov-10 20:59:57

I don't know if it was a phlebotomist or a nurse tbh. It was done in the children's blood test room in the kids'outpatient departement at the hospital.

You'd think they'd be experienced. hmm
Next week we'll have a different person doing it she said.

The blood is for genetic testing for Fragile X and something else (i don't remember the neame of it). And it's standard in our area because he has a dx of autism.
So it's not life tretening or health related as such. It's unfair to distress him like this so if it doesn't work next week, i won't bring him again.

genieinabottle Mon 08-Nov-10 21:00:43

Lougle, good luck. Let's hope they get it done quickly for your DD. xx

Lougle Mon 08-Nov-10 21:04:08

Thanks Genie. I am nervous. Until now, it has always been a Paed who did it. But our Paed said we should just take her into the phlebotomy dept. I think because that's where the courier will collect the blood from to take it to London.

genieinabottle Mon 08-Nov-10 21:07:09

Fingers'crossed then that it goes well tomorrow and also that you get good results or news after the tests. x

Lougle Mon 08-Nov-10 21:15:10

thanks, genie x

bigcar Mon 08-Nov-10 21:37:51

you can ask your gp to prescribe the cream so you can put it on at home, we've had it for ds2 before a blood test, means you can be in and out much quicker without having to wait for the cream to work. Phlebotomists are usually much quicker at getting blood than doctors or nurses.

genieinabottle Mon 08-Nov-10 21:46:33

Thanks for the tip, Bigcar. Will get onto GP tomorrow.

TheTimeTravellersWife Mon 08-Nov-10 22:47:11

The name of the cream is Emla. It takes an hour or so to work, so you can apply it at home and go for your DC's blood test or the hospital can apply it but then you need to sit around for an hour or so waiting for it to work!

Very sorry to hear that it was such an ordeal; we had a good experience because of the Emla cream.

We had the blood test carried out at the Children's dept. and they had lots of toys and put on a DVD to watch while they did the blood test.

It really doesn't need to be such an ordeal, if the hospital manage it properly.

genieinabottle Tue 09-Nov-10 00:32:12

Thank you for the tip about the cream.

I wish i had said we'll have the cream instead of the cold spray now. sad

I asked the nurse which was better and she said they're both effective but the cream is more tricky as the arms have to be wrapped in cling film and left for 30 mins. So i said let's have the spray but it wasn't working, DS was screaming as soon as she tried putting the needle in.

They had a dvd playing but he was so distressed that it was totally useless.

Gawd, i'm worried about next week and having to drag him in there, he was placid and went in ok today, no way will it be the same next time.
I feel terrible about putting him through it again, what will he think of me...confused

Spinkle Tue 09-Nov-10 06:58:53

Poor you.

When we took DS (ASD) for one I told the nurse, he's autistic, when he gets stressed do not speak, it makes him worse. I said we had one shot, there'd be no way I'd get him through the doors again if we had to come back.

She was brilliant. Took two of them and OH to hold him down whilst I did my best 'it's OK' face and rubbed his head.

Poor daddy sobbed like a baby though... confused

Spinkle Tue 09-Nov-10 07:00:34

Oh and the pressie afterwards always helps!

starfishmummy Tue 09-Nov-10 08:42:19

Agree with you trying to get cream at home. But this can also.cause veins to disappear so put it on more than one place.
Would a dose of calpol before you go have a calming effect?

moosemama Tue 09-Nov-10 10:26:35

Genie, you poor thing and your poor ds. We had a similar thing on the childrens' ward with my nt ds when he was 4, he was seriously ill and its the only thing he remembers about being in hospital. sad

His was done by a registrar, who basically told us he was rushing because he was going out to party that evening and it was the end of his shift. angry He didn't wait long enough for the emla to work, couldn't get any on the first try, so tried to take it from just about everywhere where there wasn't any emla anyway. Poor child was stuck in both arms and hands and we were both in tears, with ds absolutely hysterical. The registrar kept bullying me and saying the bloods had to be done there and then as he was so ill they needed the results. I was on my own with ds, eight and a half months pregnant and distraught. I called dh who'd just gone home and he turned round and came straight back, read the riot act to the Registrar and insisted a senior member of staff came to do it. It took the senior phlebotomist all of 30 seconds using some fast acting lidocane cream. Needless to say we put in a complaint about the registrar.

Definitely get the Emla cream. Put in on an hour before your appointment time and really thick, don't squidge it around, just put a huge blob on and apply clingfilm straight onto it. I always apply it to both elbows and both hands, as have experienced them not being able to get it from the first place and trying to take it from somewhere else where there's no cream. I tend to find if the skin under the cream gets a bluish tinge then it has really worked well.

Ds1 (the one who has ASD) has had loads of blood tests done this way and either says it tickles or he can't feel it at all.

If you are going back to the outpatients department, I would also call and ask for a phlebotomist, or even better paediatric phlebotomist to do it. They are in and out in two seconds, no fussing or messing around - I won't let anyone but a professional Phebotomist take blood from my dcs now. My GPs say they always tell people to go to the phlebotomy department to get bloods taken, as nurses just aren't as skilled and its all the phlebotomists do all day every day, so they are expert at it.

Would it be an option to take him to the Phlebotomy Department instead? Just thinking it would be a difference place, so won't have the same negative associations.

moosemama Tue 09-Nov-10 10:28:54

Oh and fwiw, I buy a present before and afterwards [soft Mummy emoticon]. The first present gives him something else to focus on if we have to wait and I use it to distract him while they do the test. He then gets his second present after the test as a reward for being brave.

genieinabottle Tue 09-Nov-10 12:05:37

Thanks for all the replies.

DS feeling ok this morning, wrote a note in his school book about it just in case he suddenly gets upset again over it (that happens sometimes, he gets upset a few hours or days later when something bad has happened to him).

It doesn't help that DS has difficulties with saying how he feels, he has never yet said 'i'm happy, scared, sad, angry,...'. He will nod if we ask him do you feel sad for instance, but he won't think of telling us.
Yesterday after we had got back to the car he kept sobbing 'i don't like it.... won't go away' over and over again. Not sure if he meant the pain hasn't gone away or if he wanted to go away.

Moosemama, the idea of a presie before sounds like a good one, i know DS will be hard to manage as soon as he clock the hospital next week, so a presie to intice him to get in there could help.

It's just awful to watch and hold down your distressed child.
All i wanted to do is tell them to stop yesterday, i didn't cry but i was all shaky and a bit tearful when we walked out of there.

I wish i didn't have to do it again next week, and as usual DH is working.

moosemama Tue 09-Nov-10 12:24:18

Genie, is there a hospital gift shop? Ds1 can always be persuaded into the hospital if he is allowed to choose something from the shop before his appointment (I then use that as his 'before' present').

Our hospital shop sells mini lego kits 2 for 2.99. Since they started doing that, ds1 begs to go to ds2's appointments as well! grin

genieinabottle Tue 09-Nov-10 12:31:34

grin at your ds1.

Thanks for the advice.
Yes they have one, and they have a WHSmith too which has small presies too.
DS loves his Thomas magazines so that would be a good one. wink

And if DH was here he would now quote me the 5 Ps. grin (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Performance!) lol

moosemama Tue 09-Nov-10 12:34:30

grin My dh says that one too!

Lougle Tue 09-Nov-10 13:39:04

Poor, Poor DD. 3 major attempts, with several jab marks because she moved so much. One needle in one side of the vein and out the other, blood spraying everywhere sad

Another lady took over and managed.

Al1son Tue 09-Nov-10 13:42:42

Oh how horrible!

I hope they've got plenty and she can forget really quickly.

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