Nervous about getting a blood test? 4 tips to make your blood draw smoother!
Do you always feel nervous about blood tests, worried about how many times you'll need to be pricked to get blood? Or maybe you've had the needle inserted into your vein, but still, no blood comes out. If you have these concerns, read on to learn how to have a smooth blood draw.
Why can't blood be drawn?
- ♦ The temperature of the blood draw site is too low, causing the veins to collapse.
- ♦ Insufficient water intake or recent diarrhea can lead to low blood volume.
- ♦ Excessive subcutaneous fat can completely cover the blood vessels, making them difficult to access.
- ♦ The phlebotomist lacks experience in vein puncture.
Try the following five methods to make your blood draw smoother:
- ♦ Consume an adequate amount of water the night before and on the day of the blood draw. Drinking a large amount of water all at once or frequently can rapidly increase your blood volume and reduce the possibility of vein collapse during the blood draw, making it easier for the phlebotomist to draw blood.
- ♦ If you always encounter difficulties during blood draws, you can inform the practitioner about the location where you successfully had blood drawn the last time. This makes it easier to find the vein's position. If you feel anxious or nervous about blood draws, try not to look at the blood draw. You can wear headphones and listen to music or think about something you like to distract yourself. You can also relax by taking deep breaths.
- ♦ When the weather is very cold, blood vessels constrict, and less blood flows to the limbs, making it harder to draw blood. Place a cup of hot drink or a warm towel on your elbow. Blood vessels tend to expand in warm conditions, which can increase blood flow.
- ♦ If you are very afraid of pain, you can consult with a doctor or phlebotomist and use a pain relief tape containing a local anesthetic on the blood draw site to reduce pain during the blood draw.
- ♦ Use a "vein locator" device to assist in drawing blood. This instrument uses infrared light to detect veins under the skin and project the vein's location onto the skin, increasing the first-time success rate of vein puncture. However, not every hospital and clinic has such equipment.
If it's difficult to draw blood from the arm, where else can it be done?
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