Totally had a similar experience as the original post. Just had one done and the dude pulled out the needle just before he was about to get the draw. He told me "You do know there are old ladies who come in here and experience the pain better than you do, right?" I had silently bit the bullet the whole time and he yanked it out without me even asking him to do so. I've been suffering from a mysterious illness that has benched me for months at a time and I'm 28. I've got so many words to describe the arrogance and naivety of that condescending jerk. He obviously hasn't had someone wiggle a huge needle around an artery for 10 seconds. (Big enough to see the needle hole vividly whilst waving it around.) During the poke, I broke into a cold sweat with my head in my arms and he said he couldn't complete the test for fear that I was going to pass out. In my personal opinion, passing out would have been a mercy rather than having him repeat the process right from the pinprick. To describe the pain, it reminded me of a deep clean treatment at the dentist, the one where they scrape below the gumline and practically every gum is bleeding by the end. Only this was easily twice as painful with no intermittent (but rather, continuous) pain. I'd rather have 4 novacaine shots in the gums than repeat this test ever again.
AG blood tests are nasty!: Totally had... - British Lung Foun...
So why is a typical blood draw from a vein not nearly as painful? Inside a vein there are NO pain receptors...once the needle penetrates the skin and veinous wall the pain is over. Different story with arteries. Arteries have pain receptors on the inside. The best phlebotomist will hold perfectly still once the needle is in the lumen of the artery. I've had one AG draw...yes, very uncomfortable.
When I had my first one it was done by a junior doctor who had never done one before and he asked me to tell him what the pain was like.I was very apprehensive as I had heard it can be very painfull.It turned out not to be as bad as expected Phew !! I found it difficult to describe the pain it was so unlike anything I had experienced before.I am sure I could feel it in my wrist bone if that is possible. At the Brompton hospital they took it from my ear lobe which was so much quicker and painless.Wish other hospitals would do it too xx
I've never had an arterial blood test despite being on oxygen 18 months. The nurses did try 3 times on both wrists but couldn't penetrate the artery. I had to go back the following week and held out my wrist ready for the needle but the nurse said oh we won't bother with that and so it was never done ....... Thank heavens!!!the consultant had told the respiratory nurses I was to go on oxygen. I suppose that's why they weren't bothered bothered about doing it.