Can i please give blood and how?: I have started... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Can i please give blood and how?


I have started to find i am developing a needle phobia as increasingly when i go for my blood tests they struggle to get blood from me and its gradually getting harder for them.First time they couldn't find a vein but got one after 20 min,next time 3 nurses tried,i was told to drink plenty of water in future before i go but last week i had a blood test booked and drank 2 pints of water,the nurse went in my left arm after finding what she thought was a vein but she got nothing so she tried again and again....Nothing! lets try your right arm......oh no its just the same...ah i have a nothing so tried again and again....oh no we will have to try the back of your hand....she tried,tried again and again and got......Nothing!...she said she will have to give up as i had been put through enough and booked me another test this week but i am dreading it.I got my own back by peeling a plaster off and sticking it in the middle of my forehead before going back through reception but does anyone please have any tips that can help please.

9 Replies

Sorry to learn about your experience. As with every profession, some phlebotomists are more skilled at doing their job than others. I've had some interesting experiences, not least fainting head first onto a concrete floor ..... I find that those who blame your veins/arms/thinness/fatness are generally the less adept at blood taking whilst those who tell you not to worry, your arms are perfect are the ones who are in and out painlessly in a moment. Insist on someone different next time, or if this experience was at the GP surgery, could you go to the blood dept at your local hospital as I did last week?

I don't know if any of these basic suggestions will help:


Be pleasantly warm - much easier on nice sunny spring days like today!

Do something like have a brisk walk, allowing your arms to swing, before going in.

Make sure your clothing is not tight.

Absolutely agree with Hypnoteq, hospital departments are where I go (I hate the appointment system at the surgery and they seem like amateurs).


I agree, get a good phlebotomist!

What a stressful thing to go through. My husband had a similar thing happen when he went to the surgery for blood tests. Nurse tried both arms in several places, hubby just sat there patiently not bothered in the slightest but poor nurse was - she started shaking, said she'd lost her confidence, shot out of the door and sent another nurse in who got it first time! Poor woman, I felt so sorry for her. Re: Phlebies, I agree - go to the hospital if you can. My sis-in-law is the best one at our hospital, there's always a queue when she's on duty. :-D

I had an amateur or trainee attempt to draw blood 3 times then I got quite shirty and told her to send in the nurse. Quite an argument ensued and I was asked how the trainee was expected to learn. I told her to practice on an orange. I don't mind a couple of attempts but you have to draw the line . When you have had enough of their incompetence, roll down you sleeve and stand up. You don't have to put up with it. Love the plaster on the forehead. :-).

For as long as I can remember during blood tests, the nurses/phlebs can't seem to find any vein on my arms and they then go for the wrists which I hate as it's more painful.

However, after one particular test where they tried several times to find a vein, the phleb decided to use a butterfly needle which is tinier and shorty than the normal ones, and my blood came out quickly with no problem....... Since then, I now ask for a butterfly needle each time I am having my blood drawn...much more better than the normal needle.......


I guess that if Andrew Mitchell MP had such a problem with getting blood taken, it would become known as phlebgate.

<Apologies...> :-)


HarryE in reply to helvella

Brilliant! :-D

Thank you for all the replies and thank you Ladyviva for that info,i will try that tomorrow morning when i go again.

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