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Author Topic: blood draws getting more painful  (Read 2681 times)

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Offline vegaslocal39

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  • Posts: 50
blood draws getting more painful
« on: July 31, 2007, 10:39:19 PM »
I've been having blood draws every three months for 13 years now.  For the first few years, no problem.  Just a little pinch.  But now, it seems to be getting more and more painful.  I go to Quest and have a different phlebotomist every time....I've never had the same one twice.  They all tell me that I'm getting a buildup of scar tissue and there's nothing they can do.

Is this true?  Is there a particular size of needle that I can request?  Is there any place besides the inside of my arm they can take it from?  Both arms hurt a lot now.

Just curious as to your experiences.  Thanks all.

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007, 11:00:22 PM »
Sure they can draw from many different sites.  I went for an MRI with contrast last week and had to have IV meds administered.  The tech saw my skinny arms with veins popping out (from lipo) and injected into my forearm, which was new for me.  I have had draws practically my entire life because of diabetes, always from my right arm until recently.  Maybe they can use a "butterfly, where they insert a smaller needle into the vein which is attactched to tubing, and get the blood from there.  It doesn't hurt to ask.  Just tell them you have scar tissue and want the smallest gauge needle possible.  People never know unless you speak up, especially at Quest.  I feel for you going there, they announced to the entire waiting room one time that I was there for an HIV test.  I complained to my doc and he proceeded to promptly kick their ass.  That was back in '96.

HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 04:53:29 AM »
The clinic I go to always uses a butterfly and then connects it to the vacuum container. They don't have to keep using the antecubital space, they can draw it from radial vein on your forearm. It's just easier for some phlebotomist to use the antecubital space if they are new at drawing blood.

Offline anniebc

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Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 05:15:16 AM »
Hi Vagas

As the others have said ask for a "Butterfly" needle, not only is it less painful but it's gentler on the veins because the vacuum is not as strong allowing the vein to stay open so the blood can flow easier

I'm not surprised scare tissue has built up if they have been using the same site for 13 years..I have done a lot of difficult bleeds in my time and there are definitely other areas you can get blood from, on extremely difficult patients I have gone into the back of the hand or the top of the foot with good results..a lot of Phlebotomists are reluctant to do this if they are not sure of themselves but as Cindy said tell them your arms need a rest..you have to talk to them, and make sure they listen.


Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Cerrid

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Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 05:28:33 AM »
The clinic I go to uses butterflies as well. I'm not a big friend of getting blood drawn, though. Never was. I can't watch them doing it, else I freak... I guess, for the same reason I don't like splatter movies. ::)

However, with all the new ever-smarter ever-smaller nanotech diagnostic kits coming up, I'm curious how long it'll still be necessary to draw several tubes of blood. Sooner or later, a fingerstick should be sufficient to collect all the relevant data. What do you think?
"Boredom is always counterrevolutionary. Always." (Guy Debord)

Offline RapidRod

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Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 06:45:45 AM »
I'm so use to giving between 11 and 18 vials of blood every three months, that if I drove for a hour and fifteen minutes for a finger stick I would be pissed. Now if they can do a urine test by a finger stick then I really do have shit in my blood.  :D

Offline aztecan

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  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007, 10:52:48 AM »
I usually have them use the butterfly and I alternate arms from one set of labs to the next. Sometimes I forget which arm I used, but usually I can keep track.

There are many other locations though, as others have said.

So, I would speak up next time labs are drawn.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline vegaslocal39

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  • Posts: 50
Re: blood draws getting more painful
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007, 11:53:02 AM »
Thanks all!  I will ask for the butterfly needle next time.  I always try to alternate arms, but they're both pretty painful now, so it doesn't seem to make much difference.

As usual, you all have been so helpful.

Off topic - Although I don't post/reply often, I do read posts almost daily to learn all I can.  I've been doing this for many years.  Those of you who are regulars and seem to reply to all the postings should know that the topics you discuss do have a broad-reaching effect that extends far beyond the original poster.  Thanks for always being there and for helping us all, even those of us who do not post/reply often.


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