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Poor veins

Is having terrible veins (for taking bloods/intravenous cannula etc) a common feature in lupus? Today I've had a right drama having a blood test! Well actually I don't think I've ever given blood and NOT had a drama!

The last time I got my practice nurse to test my ANA she wouldn't do it because they couldn't find that specific test on the computer system. Today I went and had the same trouble, even when she typed in ANA into the search box, it wouldn't come up. She was trying to tell me that I must be mistaken and it was an 'ENA' test (as conveniently there was a test of that name popped up on the screen!) I was adamant she wasn't going to test me for something I shouldn't be tested for, so I got out my smart phone and googled ANA and showed her the test which we were looking for! Really, I shouldn't have to do that surely?!! Then when the computer system still wouldn't accept it, she went back to basics and ordered it with a pen and paper!

Eventually! ...........then she couldn't get any blood out of me! So frustrating but absolutely not her fault as the last time I had a blood test, four different people tried at least a dozen times then sent me home as a mission failed! Why are my veins so bad?

9 Replies

Hi angelcake,im new to this blog ,but as a lupus sufferer have terrible trouble having blood taken ,my own doctor said its common in connective tissue disorders etc ,so your not out of the ordinary,i drink heaps of water and run around a bit to get veins pumping ,lol!keep healthy brave')


Good idea, I'll waterlog myself before I go next time!


Hi Angelcake,

Know how uncomfortable this can be. At my surgery the practice nurses are very good at blood taking, but if anyone has notoriously bad veins, they get sent to the phlebotomists at the hospital to have it done. The blood takers there are used to dealing with "difficult" veins, so possibly something worth trying that you could ask about ?


I have the same problem and have had blood taken from various places on my arm, although I do draw the line at having it taken from my wrist ( not only is it painful but makes me pass out :( ). Long term steroid use can cause problems with the veins. I hope you have more luck on your next visit.

Wendy x


Morning Angelcake!

The nurses at the doctors surgery ask me to drink at least 2pts of WATER before hand and also hug hot water bottles/wheat bags in the elbow creases to bring my veins out of hiding -they also use butterfly needles.

Certainly beats the hospitals cherade of 1.5 hours at the start of this week to fill 5 blood tubes to min level!!!

Honestly the wheatbags trick has been a success even for my FASTING blood test.

Hope you find a solution that works for you & makes these essential bloodworks more bearable for you.


Good ill have a go because I've just been told today I have to go back because I have loads more tests they want to do and they need more blood!!!


Hi, if you can walk to your surgery do so as this will help, also keep warm but you could go to the hospital or local clinic where the Phlebotomists are more experienced than the nurses at the doctor's surgery.


I went to the hosp and the phlebotomist took AGES to fill the bottles which I needed. Then the blood clotted in the tubes and she had to do it all again!


Hi , I used to have trouble, as I have bloods each month.My blood nurse told me to ask for a baby needle which is much thinner but does the job without fuss!! Hope this helps x


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