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Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 8th 2011, 10:07 PM

I'm pretty notorious with the place I get my blood work done for having tiny veins. Sometimes when I get my blood drawn, I can only feel the little poke of the needle going in, but sometimes I it feels like the needle is poking something once it's inside. It's not excruciating pain, but it definitely hurts and it hurts the whole time the blood draw is going on. Is this normal? Also, any ideas why it's happening? All I can think of is that the needle is poking the back of the vein, but that seems hard to believe that it'd cause that much pain.

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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 9th 2011, 04:02 AM

When you go next time, ask them if they can use the baby size needles on you. You say you have tiny veins, that can be the issue. Either that, or they just aren't doing their job right. Do they have a hard time sticking you? Can they find your vein okay? Also, if it is hurting you, mention it to them, so they can make adjustments where needed.

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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 9th 2011, 04:13 AM

The last time they drew my blood the person could tell right when I walked in that I hated needles and used the smaller needle so it didn't hurt as much. Sometimes it just depends who's doing it, some people are gentler than others. Try asking them to use a small needle or mention that it hurts almost every time. Focusing on the needle and where it is can actually cause it to hurt more because you're directing your attention to it. Do your best to focus on something else, like what you're going to do afterwards, somewhere else you'd like to be, etc and see if that helps.

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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 9th 2011, 05:15 AM

Your veins may be the issue, however, it also comes down to the person using the needle. Whenever I get my blood drawn (which isn't all that often) it rarely hurts. The only time that it did was when the nurse had no clue what she was doing. For example, 1 nurse tried to get blood from my right arm 5 times but couldn't get a drop. I have a very high pain tolerance but I could tell she didn't know what she was doing and at one point, she somehow broke part of the needle while it was in my arm, resulting in a massive bruise that spread halfway up my arm and bicep. After she got it out, she tried again and made it worse because she got some blood alright but it was on the floor, her and everywhere else except in the blood tube. After telling her to fuck off because she's utterly hopeless, a second nurse came in, used the same size needle and on the first try, she got blood perfectly.

You may have a person who is not gentle enough or hasn't had much experience. The first nurse was wiggling the needle a bit while it was in my arm, something you're not meant to do at all.

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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 9th 2011, 05:38 AM

Yeah, it's normal. I also have small veins and plenty of experience getting blood drawn (cumulative 8 months in ed hospital treatment where it's either daily or weekly plus years of every other week testing) and it can be a lot of different things. The person doing the test, how hydrated you are, how tense you are, what position your arm is in... nothing to really worry about as far as I know, but it does kind of suck when it happens!

eta - my game plan: always always use butterfly needles. don't let them fish around once the needle is inserted even if that means getting another jab. once needle is inserted relax as much as you possibly can and deep breathe.
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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 9th 2011, 03:35 PM

You might also try drinking water too. That helps get blood flowing better, so once they find a vein they will be able to get the blood and be done. Sometimes if you haven't had water in awhile, it can also hurt from that because everything is sort of shriveled up.

Also, doing the normal "look-away" routine and "talk-to-the-nurse". Sometimes you won't even notice when the needle goes in. Or, you could just have had a nurse who wasn't as careful and gentle as she should have been.
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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 11th 2011, 04:27 PM

Try to relax your arm. What might also help you distract yourself from the pain is if you clench the fist of your other arm. And ask for a smaller needle.

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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 12th 2011, 04:07 AM

It could be the size of your vein that is an issue. You might try asking them to use a smaller needle or possibly find a different place to draw blood from (such as the top of your hand rather than in your arm).
It could also be that whoever is drawing the blood is sticking you in a strange way. For instance, the last time I had blood drawn, I told the lady that it hurt and she said, "Oh, that's normal," and didn't do anything about it. It took twice as long as it normally does to collect the blood, and when it was done, I had a HUGE bruise there afterwards. My mom said that when they stuck me, the needle was pushing up against my vein wall, which was the source of the pain and difficulties. Mom said that happens pretty often.

Next time it starts hurting, speak up and make them do -something- about it.

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Re: Why does it hurt when I get my blood drawn? - December 14th 2011, 03:25 PM

Having blood drawn is never nice, its going to be a bit painful!

When you have blood drawn is it normally done at the doctors office, so they draw the blood and leave it, or do you often have it done where they leave a line in afterwards? Because they are done differently, and the second hurt more than the first because of that.

Sometimes when people take blood they put the needle in where they think the vien is, then they realise they haven't got the vein, so they dig around a bit - that can hurt! It is possible to go through the other end of the vein, but it takes a lot to mess up that much, and if they did the blood would stop coming out so you would know.
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