trouble finding veins

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2011
trouble finding veins
5
Mon, 10-10-2011 - 2:32pm

Anyone else have trouble with veins? I need tips on how to get my veins to pop out. Everytime I go in for bloodwork, it's a bad experience. It's been like that my whole life. The veins are just so tiny, and they quit before enough blood is drawn. It gets worse each year. I currently don't have an accessible IV spot, so labor sounds frightening, even though it's 7 1/2 months away! The labworkers are telling my right now that they won't be able to put in an IV if things don't improve, but also that my doctor wouldn't approve of labor with no IV, so they'd still be obligated to poke around the whole time during labor. I have lots of scars from various blooddraws and veins over the years gone badly. Lol, it's a good thing I'm not scared of needles!

Here's how I handle it... any other ideas?

I drink lots of water before I go in to help plump up my veins. I let the labworker know that I have difficult veins. I usually smile and say the worker can try, or else they can call in somebody else (usually they're honest and don't try if they aren't good). I know the names of two workers that will put up with me, and the shifts that they work, so I only go in at those times. I ask for them if they are available. I point out the spots that have been good in the past. They try in my elbow for awhile and usually have to switch to my hand. They only use butterfly (baby) needles on me and tighten the turniquette extra.

I had bloodwork today and I go back on Wednesday for more. My hand is swollen and bruised from today, so I know

Momma to:
Madelyn, February 26, 2001
Aaron, January 2, 2005
Baby #3, October 2, 2012

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2004
Mon, 10-10-2011 - 7:08pm
My advice, as a CMA, would be to have them use a small butterfly needle going forward (they are often used on children because their veins are so small), and have them do the blood draw from the back of your hand, as those veins are more accessible.

For the IV, they may need to get creative. I have the same problem as you, and more than once have had IVs placed on the inner side of my wrist. You can ask for the anesthesiologist to do the placement if you wish, as they tend to be more accurate and experienced than some nurses.

On a side note, you don't *have* an IV during labor. Doctors and nurses often don't like it because they dislike people deviating from the norm, but ultimately the choice is yours, not theirs!
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2011
Mon, 10-10-2011 - 7:56pm

Thanks. steph, we do use the butterfly needle. I've never had a bloodtest without one. It just doesn't work much either. I only use 2 really experienced phlebotomists (spelling?) so I don't think anyone else could do much better, I've been going to them for years. It's just getting harder than usual. Not sure why. I do end up with needles in my hand usually, but it's all bruised up from today and quit working halfway through the blood draw, I know they won't be able to use it when i go back. I'll probably try heating pads in my elbows next time, I've heard it helps.

Momma to:
Madelyn, February 26, 2001
Aaron, January 2, 2005
Baby #3, October 2, 2012

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2008
Mon, 10-10-2011 - 10:24pm
My veins are shot from chemo. Many times the techs have to wrap my arm in warm towels before they can find a vein. I've had IVs in my feet before. Those are painful.

Thank you Heather (blessedmom0508) for the siggy!

Liz.jpg picture by phstruz

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2009
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 11:41am
My sister tells me constantly how wonderful my veins are and she'd love to give me iv's but it never fails those times I need to get an iv they can never get them:( With every one of my kids it's taken 3 attempts at it. With my second, my dr even took over and did it himself after the nurse had such troubles cause my veins kept 'blowing'.

This winter I was so sick and dehydrated from the horrible stomach bug I had. It took 3 different people each 2 tries nd finally the 6th try (3rd person's 2nd try) to finally get an iv in me. I honestly dread any sort of needles and this doesn't help matters. So when I got dehyrdrated again in May, I gave them some simple directions about releasing the torniquet before they place the iv because that helped the lady do mine since I'd told her of my history:(
 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2011
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 12:42pm

Molly - If you're veins truly "blow" then you're right to ditch the tourniquette, it only makes things worse for people like that. You can also try a blood pressure cuff not pumped up fully. And, a warm compress just upstream of the needle site, it'll help blood keep flowing so your veins stay plump. You'll know you're one of those people if, when they try to do bloodtests, they see a tiny bit of blood but it always quits. It's most common for people who've had chemo. Skip the doctors, they don't do enough needles themselves, unless you find a really skilled one (and then always ask for him!)

I don't have that problem. I have narrow veins that won't stay in place. The needle just pushes the vein around instead of going in.

Momma to:
Madelyn, February 26, 2001
Aaron, January 2, 2005
Baby #3, October 2, 2012