Children having frequent blood tests

My child has had a blood test this week. He is a bit auti ( or I think cretinised). He was horrible. He was so distressed following the blood test, very angry, frightened and distressed. Myself and a play therapist had to chase after him as he ended up running away from the hospital. It took 2 hours to calm him down. I gather that downs children and I suppose any child with a thyroid condition has to have lots of blood tests. I have read up about needle phobia. It was an interesting read apparently it is the only really dangerous phobia and almost impossible to get proper help with it. People have been know to drop dead at the sight of a needle, it can cause convulsions and more commonly people just faint.Doctor just tell people to get over it and I cannot find any proper treatment. The other problems itcauses is people with this phobia just will not accept medical help or go to doctor. The mortality rate is really high. I dont think my child is going to drop dead he does not seem to have the physilogical reactions to suggest that is a possibility but I do not want him at the bottom of a rugby scrum to have blood taken and am worried that if he does have a thyroid condition it will escalate to this either to get his blood or to medicate him in psychatric hospital due to trauma. Has anyone else had to deal with this?

10 Replies

I was very scared of needles earlier in my life and would often faint. I have even fainted watching someone else have an injection. I think it's also related to having low blood pressure.

Since having thyroid cancer and my dose adjusted for years I've been having blood tests every month or so all that time. I'm now finally used to it and I don't really mind. Although having the blood taken by someone who messes it up will still make me lightheaded. But I've been an adult in this the and knew why the tests were important (many of them I've ordered myself).

It sounds like you have more or less got over your phobia. Fainting is caused by sudden drop in blood pressure but it is also a physiological reaction to needle phobia. It is the only phobia that effects people like this. People do not faint at the sight of spiders or height.

That's interesting. The link with low blood pressure is strange. I had a friend with very low blood pressure who used to faint at the sight of any blood, and I used to get lightheaded in school when studying blood cells in biology classes.

But, yea, being forced to do it all the time has got me mostly over it. I also find lying down or being reclined back in one of those phlebotomy chairs helps a lot with feeling faint. None of these will help you too much I suppose :(

The only thing that springs to mind is meditation. I did hear of some good CDs for kids that embed the mindfulness exercises into fairytale type stories, but the name of the company making them has completely gone from my head :(

I remembered the name, it's Relax Kids. Their website is the first thing that comes up when you search that name.

Another suggestion could be using a finger prick test from BlueHorizon? Although maybe you'd find it even harder to take that. It's a smaller needle and I think hurts less going in, but for me leaves a tiny bruise and what looks like a 1mm long cut that can hurt quite a bit the next day.

Thanks Silver. I will have a look at Relax kids. I think some mindfullness might work or meditation. My mum was a buddist and she trained me not to avoid pain and to relax when in pain and it really helps. Most people tense up when in pain but I do the opposite and it has really helped at times. Tried the finger prick test last year. he was not as bad as this week but upset and no blood came out. I had a few tries and he was not best pleased.

Lying down would help you stop fainting. You must be very brave to have put up with it even though you were so scared.

There's a topical anaesthetic cream you can buy over the counter at Boots or Superdrug etc. It's called Elma. Maybe get him into the habit of applying it if possible. It might be the pain that he doesn't like. Needle phobia is a nightmare. I'm the opposite. I need to watch it going in or I jump a mile.

Thanks bony we have tried emla but he has no faith in it. There is a stronger patch but not sure if available. I used clove oil this time but it didnt help. Having read up about needle phobia some people find it very painful and are hypersensitive. My child would not let anyone near him for over an hour after and was just shouting that he wanted to kill us if we got too close. He said after that it was hurting and he was shouting at us because it took his mind off the pain. I can belive this as he is not a child to make a fuss over a scratch but just seems to feel this very badly.

I am like you I like to watch and also have always taken the boys in with me when I have blood taken as I thought it would be good to see someone having it taken who really isnt bothered. I would much rather have blod taken than my blood pressure.

Hello Mandy Jane,

I was wildly hoping the cream would help but can understand needle phobia. On a lighter note: My wonderful step mother donates blood. They settle her show her the needle and she passes out.

Hypersensitivity I've seen in my friend with EDS. All I can say is as a mother you're doing an amazing job (your research and questions prove that). Talking of questions which patch are you referring to?

The patch is called synera or rapydan. Not sure if it is available in uk. Your step mother is incredibly brave. I have sacked the pediatrician and feel more settled as a result.

Thank you for that. Maybe put a complaint in if you feel that strongly. Give him / her a chance to see what they're doing before it happens to someone else. 💜💙

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