Make it easier to take my blood.
August 1, 2013 9:29 AM Subscribe
I have to have a blood test. I have a pretty severe vasovagal response, combined with abnormally tiny, difficult veins (or so I've been told by everyone who has ever taken blood from me). Help me make this easier?
posted by millipede to Health & Fitness (36 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The vasovagal response is something I accept and know is not going to disappear: blood pressure drops alarmingly, darkness closes in, there I am on the floor. Every single time, even with a finger prick. But: what makes everything a lot worse is the tiny vein situation. This means that getting blood taken takes a lot longer than it needs to, involves a lot of fruitless poking from a parade of phlebotomists taking their turn at attempting to tap a tiny, tiny vein while urging me to pump my fist and tying a tight rubber band around my arm.
This vein-seeking makes me feel more panicky and faint and sick than I otherwise would. This morning, I was supposed to get blood taken at the doctor's office, and four phlebotomists couldn't get a vein, and I started feeling so terrible and woozy after the 20 minutes of failed poking that I told them I had to come back another time. Now I've been instructed to go directly to the lab instead over the next few days.
My question is whether there is anything I can do to make my veins easier. Is there a time of day I should go (maybe morning is bad?). Anything I can eat or drink? How do doctors take blood from babies, who must have tinier veins than even tiny me? Should I, as a last resort, go to a pediatrician for this (seriously? I'm 31)? Also, why are my veins so tiny? I'm a small, slight person, but this seems ridiculous.
Even writing this question is making me feel faint again.