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Diagnosed with PV in January, had about 10 venesections one or two early one's were unsuccessful the later ones went well until Monday tried three times and failed.Booked in again today,tried both arms failed again got less than a third of a bag. Why can you fill a bag one day and struggle the next.Booked in next week for another venesection so hopefully I can cross the first furlong and get under the blood level.

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Hi Ian

Sometimes it works sometimes you feel like a pincushion! I was advised to drink plenty of water before and make sure your arms are warm. I also have my sucked out into the bottles, not left to run out unaided into a bag but even that failed once. Good luck.



Hi Ian,

I too have had problems with venesections.  Hydration is very important.  I was advised not to just drink water but to add hydrating salts to it. One clinic gave me apple juice but I think that was because I was very good at nearly fainting!   I also have a water drop in the other arm which rehydrates me.  The two work simultaneously.  Also I have had a warm pad put on the arm over the viens beforehand which helps, how I am not sure.  Also I have had to lie down for some of them.  And I have also found it depends on the skill of the phlebotomist,  Hope the advice you get there helps you get over this.

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Hi Ian, yes water all the way! The only time I had trouble with a vinesection was when I'd rushed there from work and hadn't drunk loads of water during the day. Good luck with the next attempt - try not to get too stressed over it too as that doesn't help either!! 


I have had 9 venesections, most recent yesterday afternoon.  I probably overdo it on the water as I typically drink about 2L before leaving home, 2L in the car on way to hospital and then continuously while waiting.  Also I have several cups of tea.  I drove myself there yesterday so could not drink in the car.  I had an earlier start so less water at home and had a large  americano in Costa (diuretic) in the hospital.  It took much longer to take the blood and my blood pressure was sky high afterwards.  Tea and coffee are caffeine free at home.  I think I must have been wearing the wrong head (like Wurzel Gummidge) yesterday. Definitely learned a lesson as not pleasant for phlebotomist or me.


Fortunately never had a problem.  I always drink a pint of water half an hour before venesection.  I usually drink about 2l of water a day as standard.  The pint before venesection is extra. 


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