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Blood test phobia .. what to do??

(9 Posts)
frazzledbutcalm Wed 30-Dec-15 13:14:05

Dd has a phobia of blood/needles. She's had a few blood tests in the past and it became apparent from the first test that she has a phobia. So today we went for a blood test, dd was ok about it (we'd built up to it for a long time). We got there, she was still ok. The nurse put the band around her arm, all very calm, dd put her head on my shoulder went very clammy and quiet. This is normal for her. Nurse couldn't find a vein so looked at the other arm, at which point dd said she felt sick, nurse said dd looked very grey and stopped. We decided not to continue with the blood test and to re-book for another time. The nurse was lovely all throughout, atmosphere very relaxed. We went outside the room and dd went very dizzy. We took the few steps to the waiting area, receptionist saw us and immediately brought a sick bowl and glass of water. Dd was immediately sick. Nurse brought us back into her room, put dd on the bed, raised her legs, put cold compress on her forehead and talked until her body had calmed and dd was ok again.

Any ideas how to get a blood test?

MeirAya Wed 30-Dec-15 15:03:58

Ask the GP to prescribe emla and tegaderm (info here)

Book 4 appointments with the nurse and brief both her and dd that the first 2 are for a dry run to break the phobia. Aim to do the actual test on the 3rd or 4th occasion

And do the blood test lying down!

Toffeelatteplease Wed 30-Dec-15 15:23:18

Ds had gas and air. And we were very lucky there was a paramedic on training rotation who was phenomenal at talking DS through. They had the ambulatory care ward empty other than us and I had his reward sat in front of him.

To be fair this was because they had right royally fucked up the previous blood test. Ended up with DS rocking in a corner screaming and hitting anyone who came anywhere near him with a needle or not.

Yes to emla cream. But also keep the hands and arms as warm as possible, to make the veins as easy to hit as possible. We've used wrist warmers and blankets. I've used bowls of hot water on me.

I've also seen a large "look for" book used to fantastic effect. To get for distraction but to block DS having any visual on the needle. They were fantastic and super efficient. The stuff was prepared when DS was not in the room, the nurse started with the book before they even took his hand and they were in before we knew it.

frazzledbutcalm Fri 01-Jan-16 09:59:42

Meir ... This was our 4th visit, dd seemed relaxed, same nurse always sees dd and knows her, nurse is always happy to just see how things go. She reassures dd that it's absolutely fine to not have blood test if she's not 'ready' and just make another appointment. So there's never any pressure on dd to have the test. We always use EMLA cream. I'll ask for dd to be lying down next time though, we've never tried that.

It's not the test hurting that bothers dd, she just has a massive phobia about blood especially. She can't watch a&e programmes, goes woozy over a cut knee etc.

toffee ... I'm thinking your post is about a blood test at a hospital - this is at our local GP surgery so they don't have the facilities you mention. Distraction books etc won't work for dd, her body just seems to go into shock and she shuts down. Good idea about keeping warm though, I'll definitely do that next time - dd (like me) feels the cold and always appears cold. I'll wrap her up snugly for a while before hand next time. When I put the EMLA cream before we went I knew they wouldn't be able to take blood as there was absolutely no sign of a vein.

Dd's 'reaction' would have been the same if they had taken blood or not, so it's unfortunate that they couldn't take it I guess. But I don't want her to have this reaction every time she has to have a blood test. So fingers crossed, next time she'll be warm and lying down so hopefully not be as bad as this time. not believing it as I'm typing though sad

zzzzz Fri 01-Jan-16 23:01:36

Snap! You are talking about me when I was younger (not that much younger blush )

It can get better. Being really hydrated will plump veins considerably. Lying down. Music on head phones. Being warm, warm hands. Squeezing your hands into a fist for several minutes before. And a lolly pop or bubble gum as it is happening so your mouth is moving (sweet and smelly).

Andro Fri 01-Jan-16 23:59:47

Look up vasovagal response, your dd's symptoms are absolutely classic.

Lying down is good, but make sure she doesn't get up too quickly. I know some people who have this type of response who don't actually fear the trigger (needles, blood, etc) but fear the response (the loss of controls, fear of passing out and hurting themselves, the disorientation) - all have been better since they started managing the symptoms.

frazzledbutcalm Sat 02-Jan-16 12:48:57

It's good to hear first hand experience zzz .. but it's not nice you suffered/still do from it thanks Dd doesn't drink much so that's also something we could improve! I could try the sweet, but I'd be frightened she'd choke ...

Thanks andro .. I've never heard of that - I've just looked it up and yes it's probably dd to a tee! I think dd has a fear of both - the needle/blood AND the vasovagal response. Double whammy!

Hopefully, with the advice from all we can get through her blood tests in a better way.

zzzzz Sat 02-Jan-16 13:11:02

If she doesn't drink much that will massively impact how easy it is to get the blood out but also her BP in general. It doesn't matter what she drinks but you really want to chug at least an extra bottle or more in the hour before. Lollypop is absolutely best as it sticks out if you feel faint and is easy to remove and I think it is something about needing to move it in your mouth that overlays other sensory difficulties.

It is highly unlikely she is worse than I was and I can now do most jabs/blood letting fairly painlessly. I did IVF though for my children which requires jabs in the stomach daily for the first half of your cycle and you have to have all the paraphernalia in your house (barf!). I think that helped because I was submerged in it.

Poor girl, it's a total pest to deal with. sad

frazzledbutcalm Sat 02-Jan-16 13:47:18

Oh zzz ... what a wonderful outcome for you! But how horrendous to get there! I watch my dd turning grey, sweating, shaking, going dizzy .. it's just awful.

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