Restricted blood flow from repeated IV placement?
February 21, 2020 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Can repeated IV placement cause scarring that restricts blood flow? I’m having my 6th IV iron infusion today, 2 more to go after that, and had an episode of Reynaud’s last night. I’ve only had a couple before and I think they were close in time to IV infusions (this was a couple of years ago though). Should I ask them to place it somewhere else today?
posted by HotToddy to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, it absolutely can. It's not scarring so much as things kinda get twisted and weird inside your arm (or wherever). I would go ahead and have them put it where they've been putting it so that you don't have multiple sites of pinching. I was referred to a specialist who moved things back into place for me, which did wonders. She is a massage therapist who works with some of the local surgeons to get blood vessels and tendons unstuck from fascia, which commonly happens around incision and IV insertion points. Bring up your episode and see what they recommend, but also it might be worth looking into if there are any local post-surgical or cancer massage therapists locally who can help. (Do specifically look for people who have that specialty, though! It's very easy to damage veins that have recently had a stick and it takes special training to do.) You can develop scarring, but in that case, it's mostly that they can no longer successfully start an IV in that location. Guess how I know.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:27 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Raynaud's is caused by "vasoconstriction of digital arteries and cutaneous arterioles." IVs are placed only in veins. There is no physiologic connection between an IV placement and a Raynaud's episode.

Repetitive punctures of the same vein for IV placement can cause scarring at that location in the vein, absolutely, though it would likely take many more than six punctures with the kind of small gauge IV used in outpatient infusion clinics to cause noticeable problems.

If you have other easily-accessed veins there's certainly no harm in asking your provider to use a different site, but it's probably not necessary.

As always, this is not medical advice and you should make your medical decisions in concert with your treating provider and not because a stranger on the internet told you something.
posted by jesourie at 1:08 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Raynaud’s can also come from stress.

I had iron infusions at about the same pace as you, with no ill effect. But if they’re stressing you out because it sucks or needles bother you, then it could flare up Raynaud‘s.

I use to live in Chicago, where it was really cold. When I would visit my family in California for Christmas, my Raynaud’s was so bad I couldn’t sleep. That’s when I realized stress hit me worse than living in Chicago in winter.

FWIW, cinnamon capsules have been the only thing to help with Raynaud’s.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 8:51 PM on February 22


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