Sickle Cell Society

IV/Blood Test stories

I want to hear all your blood test/IV stories. The good the bad and the ugly. As we SC-ers have to have bloods taken regularly and cannulas put in when we are hospitalised with a crisis or for blood transfusions.

I've had 9 failed needle attempts in one session because my veins are so thin. I've had blood drawn from the veins in my feet. A couple of days ago I felt the worst pain when a phleb put the needle in but was having difficulty finding a vein, so jiggled it about and hit my nerve. I jumped back in agony and she got so angry with me because it is dangerous to make a sudden move.

I write for a living and want to write more about SC and would love to hear other people's stories. The good, the bad, the ugly.

7 Replies

This is a great idea! Please share your stories!

What we've found talking to people a lot is that if you're getting blood drawn, it's usually better if it's a nurse rather than a doctor, because they have more experience in doing it--especially when you've got tricky veins!

Has anyone here found that?


I am 27 years old and on Hydroxyurea (1000mg/day) since 2001. Before that I used to walk with canola in my veins for blood transfusions every 2 weeks.


Thanks for your reply? I hope you don't mind me asking a few more questions. Did you have to keep a cannula in your veins at all times or was that just when you had crisis/blood transfusions? How often do you have to have blood tests that measure your blood count?


Before using the drug I had to go to hospital for blood transfusions and I/V drips every week. I had to get blood tests every month. After I started using hydroxyurea, I get my blood tests one or two times a year.


What state has this left your veins in? Are blood tests easy for you? Mine are so small and shrunken that anytime I go for a test it takes 2-3 attempts before they can draw blood. I'm not afraid of needles but very weary of them.


Fortunately my veins are in good condition. I never had problems in draining my blood.

@SCPROj Are you using Hydrea or some other medicine?


No, I've been fortunate not to need it as yet. My crisis are super serious but thus far very far apart. Last one was beginning of 2014 and before that I hadn't been sick enough to merit a hospital visit for 18 years. I'm just very curious about the day to day effects/habits of being on Hydrea.


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