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Challenging blood draws

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12 years 9 months ago #16959 by hnuckolls
Challenging blood draws was created by hnuckolls
I am a parent of a 6 year old boy with ITP that was diagnosed 5 weeks ago. For the most part, we are having weekly blood test, some have been sooner. He is adamant that he does not want a finger prick so we are going into the vein. On 3 occasions, we have had to try 3 different veins. The nurse can get the needle into the vein but no blood flow. They mentioned that the veins are closing up. We are really hydrating him before blood tests to rule that out as a cause, but this is a real challenge. Does anyone have some feedback, information or advice on this situation? Having ITP is one thing, but all these blood tests are really starting to wear on our emotions.

Thanks ever so much,
Heidi

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12 years 8 months ago #17142 by lucidawn
Replied by lucidawn on topic Re: Challenging blood draws
I'm sorry you are dealing with this issue. I have two sons that have this problem, one much worse than the other. Hydration is def helpful. I know with my ITP son, when his platelets are low its hard to get blood flow because, in layman's terms, what platelets he does have are "big, fat, and sticky" because they are new, which makes them very efficient. This makes it harder for him to bleed. Its changed a bit recently, though he goes back and forth, bleeds more at times, and not at other times. But over time those veins do scar and its harder to draw from them, and get one for an IV. If you hemonc wants to do a finger prick I would really try to get him to do it. He will learn its not bad at all and he will get callouses and not even feel it.

I hope things get better for you and your child.

Donna Ingold
Mom to Kelly 22, Karen 21, Josiah 19 (Congenital Heart Defect, MS), Timothy 17 (Chronic Refractory ITP-dx 5/03, Asthma), Isaac 15(blind left eye).

Allergic and Refractive to WinRho
Shortlived small response to IVIg(a few days of 30k or less).
0-1k since September 2010
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9 years 10 months ago #41663 by AshlySmith
Replied by AshlySmith on topic RE Challenging blood draws
I'm sorry to hear that your little one is going through such troublesome blood draws.
I don't know if your child's doctor would subscribe Lidocaine/Prilocaine numbing cream but I highly suggest asking.
My son is 6 y.o. and that ointment has been a life saver for his weekly blood draws.
We received a prescription from the specialist and our pediatrician has also refilled it as needed.
It goes on in a thumb size glob on both arms (never know which side they are going to want to poke) apply about a half an hour before the blood draw, we wrap it with cellophane or plastic saran wrap to keep it from rubbing off and when we get to the lab they wipe it off and when they poke him he doesn't feel it in the least bit! He has learned that it doesn't hurt at all and he is patient and calm and inquisitive as any child would be, even when they need to do multiple attempts. He doesn't even flinch! Like I said... a life saver! :cheer:
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5 years 8 months ago #64283 by maria3132
Replied by maria3132 on topic RE Challenging blood draws
This lidocaine tip is brilliant! Thank you!

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5 years 8 months ago #64287 by juliannesmom
Replied by juliannesmom on topic Challenging blood draws
If they aren't already using one, ask about a "butterfly needle." They are smaller and less painful.
Norma
The following user(s) said Thank You: maria3132

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5 years 8 months ago #64291 by MelA
Replied by MelA on topic Challenging blood draws

hnuckolls wrote: He is adamant that he does not want a finger prick

I totally agree with your wise son - NO finger draw - not to mention it is not a "prick" it is a slice! I unfortunately had one and it hurts like heck and I'm an adult . The other thing is a finger slice does not give an accurate count - there have been discussions here about that. I thought I had bookmarked some articles but this is the only one I can find: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9365861
We conclude that fingerstick platelet counts are systematically lower and correlate poorly with venous counts, though their use seldom results in false disqualification of donors. We also conclude that fingerstick count/predict yield collections do not produce more consistent yields of platelets than standard volume collections.

Hope all goes well, the lidocaine cream sounds like a great idea!

"Instead of wasting your time worrying about symptoms, just get it checked out" -Nieca Goldberg, MD

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #64292 by MelA
Replied by MelA on topic Re: Challenging blood draws

lucidawn wrote: If you hemonc wants to do a finger prick I would really try to get him to do it. He will learn its not bad at all and he will get callouses and not even feel it.

lucidawn I am an adult and I had a finger prick [really a finger slice] for a platelet count only once and I said NEVER AGAIN - that hurt like heck, it is a barbaric practice!! Sandi preaches against vaccines and I preach against fingerslices! Also an accurate count is not given when the blood is taken that way. Please see my other post.

Hope your son is doing well!

"Instead of wasting your time worrying about symptoms, just get it checked out" -Nieca Goldberg, MD

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  • mrsb04
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  • ITP since 2014. Retired nurse. My belief is empower patients to be involved as much as possible in their care. Read, read, read & ALWAYS question medics about the evidence base they use.
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5 years 8 months ago #64311 by mrsb04
Replied by mrsb04 on topic Re: Challenging blood draws
Using a butterfly can lead to haemolysis and platelet clumping which will skew the count.

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5 years 8 months ago #64313 by juliannesmom
Replied by juliannesmom on topic Challenging blood draws
Butterfly needle was never a problem for my daughter's test results. I'd ask the doctor.
Norma

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5 years 7 months ago #64345 by MelA
Replied by MelA on topic Challenging blood draws
I've had clumping platelets and a butterfly was not used. Now have had years of butterfly needles being used and have never had a problem with results! I'm sure it can happen no matter what - and I'd rather it happen due to a butterfly needle than from a brutal finger slice!

"Instead of wasting your time worrying about symptoms, just get it checked out" -Nieca Goldberg, MD

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