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Does anyone have problems having venesection?

Just had a venesection yesterday, not had one for a while no problems in the past, but this time was very hard to find a vein, after several attempts got started but very slow then stopped only managed to get 227mls before it stopped. Was assured a little is better than nothing but never had this happen before, go again in 2 weeks hopefully will be better then.

7 Replies

Hi Littled

It is always harder to remove blood when it's cold, so my nurse told me, it slows the flow.

Hope it's better in 2 weeks. Mel


The very first one I ever had was done by a doctor and (meaning no disrepect here) it felt like she was inserting a large calibre knitting needle into my arm with the use of a mallet. This was a little disconcerting as I'm quite thin and my veins are quite proud (as the nurses who now do my blood tests say "ooh, what lovely veins....."). The following three were done by a nurse without problem but the nurse did intimate that it helped the whole process if one drank quite a lot of water during the 12-24 hours leading up to the event. Not sure if this helps but may be worth a try. I can't say if it helped me as after the last one mentioned here my venesections were stopped as they made my platelet levels go through the roof and it was then a case of "hello hydroxycarbamide".

Good luck with them in future anyway ;-)


Thanks for reply, I'm on hydroxy so drink lots of water now because since taking it I've become thirsty with a constant dry mouth, but I have to admit due to the cold spell have been drinking more coffee than usual although I take it very weak and milky too much caffeine isn't good for you. Interesting about the cold slowing the flow, it's been freezing over the last week, its the only time i'm thankful for the hot flushes :)


Hi I have noticed it is getting more difficult for the docs to find a vein that will provide enough blood. I do drink plenty of water beforehand and also keeping arms and hands as warm as possible helps. Unfortunately some medics are more experienced and better than others at hitting the bullseye.


It might sound strange but it could be that the blood flows more easily from one arm than the other.

Venesections from my right arm have almost always been unsuccessful because the flow just dries up. I now always have them done from my left and am dreading the day that the vein gets too scarred to use!



I had problems with venesections and now have a pint of fluid put into my veins before the pint of blood is taken. this might help you.



My first experience of a venesection was a nightmare at the time although I do look back on it and smile now. For as long as I can remember I've had bad veins (think I got them from my mother) and it was done when I hadn't been taking hydroxycarbamide very long so my blood was still fairly difficult to get out. They initially got about 50ml on the first try and then tried the other arm and hardly got anything.

Eventually the nurse who was doing it ended up using syringes to drag the blood out of me, which took ages (I was there about 3 hours) and had very sore knees from kneeling on the floor by the side of me extracting the blood. She made a comment that if I ever had to go back for another one she'd take the day off!

So I was booked in for another one a few weeks later, I apologised to her that I was back (she was fine really and didn't run away screaming) and she used one of those lavender filled bags that you can heat up in the microwave to warm up my arms. I sat with that for about 15 minutes, then she tried and got a whole unit out of me within about 5 minutes!

My consultant said right at the beginning that she wouldn't recommend for me to have venesections regularly because they can cause the platelet count to increase (because you're having blood removed, your body then makes more blood to replace what's been taken) but fortunately after 4 years my counts are pretty well controlled by the hydroxycarbamide.


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