Blood sample and anticoagulants

I have been on apixiban for 6 weeks and was at the Doctor yesterday for a blood sample to be taken to check how my kidneys and liver are coping. When nurse was taking sample she got the needle into my vein and got some blood but not enough and had to start again on my other arm and after wriggling the needle around she got enough blood.

Sorry if this sounds a stupid question but why did she finds it so difficult to get blood when anticoagulants are meant to keep blood flowing smoothly? I am on the lowest dose of apixiban as I had a stomach bleed on aspirin last year. Do you think the anticoagulant is not working well enough as there is no way of testing like there is on warfarin?

11 Replies

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  • No, it's all to do with the quality of your veins and the skill of the person trying to get the blood! The nurse described my veins as sinewy and said that she would like me to offer my right arm in future as she found the left too tough!

  • In my view she was a crap phlebotomist. This has nothing to do with anticoagulation and does not reflect anything about the working of the apixaban. It is not about keeping the blood flowing it is about stopping it from clotting which is different. Don't worry!

    Bob

  • No, it's all to do with the quality of your veins and the skill of the person trying to get the blood. A nurse described my veins as sinewy and said that I should offer my right arm in future as she found the left too tough.

  • Thank you for the replies I just couldn't understand why the blood was not coming out as it would do if I had a cut but now you have explained I understand better, thanks.

  • We've got a nurse like that, she sometimes has to dig around to get the vein. The others find it no problem.

    Koll

  • My arm looked like a junkys after my last stay in hospital thanks to the varying skills of the nurses to get a canular in, at best it was a "sharp scratch" at worst when one hit a bone I screamed and nearly punched her (she never came back).

  • I have been having blood tests for warfarin since 1992 and you can see the scars were it keeps on being taken from. Different phlebotomists seem to be great and painless yet some are butchers. The ones that tend to know what they are doing often remark on how tough my veins are but still do it well.

    Be Well

  • My blood tests are normally taken in the morning before breakfast ie fasting. Last time even the 'expert' had difficulty taking it, whereas usually there is no problem. It was explained to me that there wasn't enough blood to take because I was dehydrated - On this occasion I had taken 'fasting' to include 'don't drink much first'. I was firmly instructed to have a large glass of water before coming in future . . . perhaps your problem was similar ie dehydration!

  • I was told by doctor to make sure that I drank plenty of water (only).

  • Blood donation and blood tests were always a misery until I met a savvy nurse who told me she had used a pediatric needle as my veins were very small.

  • Even before I was on anticoagulants, I was told that I couldn't be a blood donor because my underlying heart condition made it dangerous.

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