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Funny veins/ problems drawing blood

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Athene, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Does anyone else find that nurses etc have exceptional difficulty drawing blood, since developing CFS?

    I, my mother and my son have this - it is normal for a medic to stick the needle into me not less than 9 or ten times, usually try both arms, and faff about stabbing it all over the place before they get any blood. Even then, it often comes in such a trickle it fails to fill the test tube. They either say my veins are so fine they collapse when the needle hits them, or they say the vein nudges out of the way as the needle gets near - though I have to say, this may possibly be BS they are inventing out of embarrassment, because they always end up looking so incompetent.

    My son is the worst. We once needed some tests done as a semi-emergency and there was a team of five nurses who eventually called in two doctors. It took them over half an hour of trying to get the blood, with my son screamig like a maniac the whole time, and by the time they had finished a doctor and two nurses were crying. No kidding.

    Well, I'd like to know if anyone else has noticed this since getting CFS, because I wonder if is connected with the illness. Nobody else in my family has this problem, only the ones with CFS.
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Yes my Doctors found the same at one stage and were baffled as it had never been a problem. Both arms were left thoroughly bruised in their attempts to chase a vein. Sorry to hear.
  3. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    I've had this issue a few times - I'm also diabetic and theoretically have blood taken every 6 months - despite highish blood pressure they still have issues getting more than a few drops of barely liquid blood
  4. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Yes, I have this problem. Through the years I've heard mentioned a number of times that this is common in people with ME/CFS.

    I'm sorry to hear that your son has had such a time.

    Merry
  5. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Athene and the group.

    For what it's worth, I think this problem is due to low total blood volume in CFS. And I think that that in turn is due to what is usually judged to be a "mild" case of diabetes insipidus by physicians. This is not the same as diabetes mellitus, involving blood sugar. Instead, it results from low secretion of antidiuretic hormone by the hypothalamus/pituitary, causing the kidneys to dump too much water into the urine, and lowering the total blood volume. The person experiences thirst, and continues to drink fluids, but is not able to keep up with the loss of water to the urine, and thus continues to have hypovolemia (low blood volume). In my hypothesis, this also contributes to low cardiac output and the orthostatic problems many PWCs have.

    Some have experienced benefit from increasing their intake of salt, together with water. Some have had temporary benefit from intravenous infusion of saline. Some have been treated with desmopressin, a synthetic form of antidiuretic hormone, either orally or in a nose spray. It can be tricky to maintain the electrolyte levels properly with this treatment, though. In the longer term, I believe that the solution is to lift the methylation cycle block, which will allow glutathione to come back up to normal, and that will correct the secretion of antidiuretic hormone and raise the total blood volume.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  6. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    It is very difficult to draw blood from me beceause my veins in my arms are so tiny; baby size as one nurse puts it. Dr klimas said it is beceause of oi. Blood pools in legs and doesn't stretch veins in arms.
  7. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Before on of my surgeries, they poked MANY holes and hit a NERVE also. An hour and a half after so many tries and so much pain, the anesthesiologist just used a needle for kids. Worked fine so I could be put "under."

    It is really bad because before surgery, you are dehydrated because they tell you not to drink for 12 hours. NOT good for POTS.

    If you drink a lot before a reg. blood test it is helpful.
  8. TomStones

    TomStones

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    I have veins a drug addict would kill for. It's as though someone has drawn them in with a blue marker pen. The phlebotomist has always finished drawing blood before i can get into full Tony Hsncock "blood doner" character.
  9. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Hi Tom,
    That's funny!! I love Tony Hancock.
    You are very lucky to have jumbo veins. :)
  10. JT1024

    JT1024 Senior Member

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    Not everyone is "blessed" with good veins or great blood pressure. Having stuck needles in way too many people in my lifetime, I have to say, if whoever is drawing your blood can't get it on the second attempt, ask for someone else that is more experienced. Ask for that person's manager if you need to.

    Historically in the US, it is well know that phlebotomists have been trained with OJT (on the job training). Now, it is best to have certified/licensed phlebotomists. While training helps, there is no substitute for experience.
  11. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Again yes and not when having regular blood draws but at my allergy test at a pharmacy. A trained nurse and pharmacist - both trained in collecting blood - tried for half an hour each to get blood to come out of my fingers and up into the 3cm long tube. Capillary action drew a couple of drops then just getting bubbles in the tubes every time. They had to prick all 10 digits to just barely collect the two tubes worth required. Both said they had done hundreds of this specific test and also collected blood in health roles. They were baffled and had never seen anything like it.
  12. Mala

    Mala

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    Interesting, I thought I was the only one with contracted veins.
  13. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Interesting what JT says about demanding someone more experienced. I should definitely have done that when they were torturing my little boy. I was actually told by a nurse in the UK that nowadays trainee nurses are not allowed to stick a needle into anyone till they are qualified, at which point they are let loose on patients with no experience whatsoever.

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