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Iv Problems


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#1 Kim T

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 09:45 AM

I have a question and couldn't find anything in the search engines. Does anyone else have problems with IV's being started? I've had several surgeries or procedures done that required an IV. Two times it took 3 people and 5 tries to get a line established. Another time it took 4 tries. They try all the tricks with warm blankets, etc. I just laugh and tell them not to feel bad but I'm wondering if this will become a serious problem. Usually the vein looks like it starts and they get excited and then it stops. I end up with so many bruises, I look abused.

The last time I tried to drink a lot in the morning because I was allowed liquids until 4 hours before the procedure. Nothing tasted good but I had 16 ounces. That didn't seem to be enough. Is it dehydration or just my veins and Raynauds?

I have CREST and am 45 years old and normal weight with visible veins. The nurses say they don't know what they'll do when I'm an old lady and need an IV.

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

Kim

#2 TJ903

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:37 AM

I have virtually the same problem, my veins are small. It's partly due to the sclero and partly my veins suck. Whenever I need bloodwork, they use a butterfly needle. As for IV's, they have to numb the area just so I won't knock anyone out. I'm a slow bleeder as well, don't know what that is from.

I can't bear to let them try three and four times, they just have to let me rest and then try again later. If worse comes to worse, they can use the port I had installed. Good on you for being strong!!!

Good luck to you and bigs hugs coming your way!

#3 lizzie

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:51 AM

Hi Kim, I think that this is a pretty common problem. I always present a problem for the poor person trying to cannulate for the I.V or trying to get blood for tests. They have on occasion given up and asked me to go back the next day.
Lizzie

#4 Sheryl

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 12:40 PM

Kim, I believe alot of us have this problem because our skin has thickened and gotten tough. I always have two or three people try. I have had them think they get the IV in right, and leave. My hand swells and gets cold and very painful. That causes more pain than most surgeries. Because I can't use the painful hand for a couple weeks. I really watch what the specialist are doing now. I don't want that to ever happen again. For even regular blood draws they use the green butterfly needles. Childrens needles. I usually look pretty battered from any poking and proding procedures. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,
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#5 Peggy

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 01:54 PM

Hey There:

You and I could be sisters! I am 48 and exactly the same way! I now warn anyone who is about to do mine and say "I'm hard to get" so if they are a newbie they can get someone more proficient right away as I hate when they "fish" and say "it was just there a minute ago" and keep trying to find it. They use butterfly on me also and it still is terrible. They try the warming blankets and every trick possible to no avail. When they were deciding on the oral or IV cyclophosphamide treatment that was the first thing I was going to ask for was a permanent site to be put in being it's so hard all of the time. When I get someone who gets it right away I could just kiss them and give them such accolades they don't know how to handle it.

Stay warm and it's great to know I'm not the only hard case out here making these poor health professionals lives miserable.

Peggy



#6 Kim T

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 02:03 PM

Oh, thank you. It's so nice having a place where people understand what you're going through.

#7 janey

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 04:58 PM

Kim,
Me too! I get a 3 day infusion every 6 weeks. On the last one I stopped counting at 10 pokes on day one. And this was after drinking tons of liquids, warming pad, running my entire arm under warm water - all the tricks. My veins are small and I'm a slow bleeder so sometimes they get the "flash", but nothing after that. My infusion nurse said that some of the problem was due to my low blood pressure (100/60) so he suggested some walking prior to coming in. On day 2 and 3 I did a few laps around the hallway at the clinic then went into the infusion room. My blood pressure was up to 120/80. On both days he got the vein the first time. So I'm going to try the walking again in a couple of weeks when I go back in. I'll let you know if it works on day 1 which is always the worse day.

It's a real pain, isn't it?!?!

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#8 Maddy07

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:38 PM

Ohhhh yeah. During my first delivery, it took 8 attempts. By the 4th one they called the anesthesiologist in and he would numb me first...still took him 4 more tries, and he was the "expert." I remember when the same guy came in to do the epidural I told him I hoped he had better luck with epi's than with IV's. I was glad he got that one in one shot!

I've had several procedures or things where I needed an IV and I don't recall as an adult, ever having them get it the first time. It's a minimum of 3 sticks each time.

It stinks. I had a heart cath recently and I dreaded the IV placement as much as I did the rest of the procedure! Sad but true!

Maddy
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#9 Kim T

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 08:26 PM

Ooh! I like the blood pressure idea. Mine can get really low.
Thanks for all the (horror) stories. I might bring this info in with me next time.

Kim

#10 tmgilbertpt

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 04:46 AM

I have the same problem with IV's. I had a port installed to receive IV cyclophosphamide. My port also came in handy when I had several admissions to the hospital where they needed to start an IV. I don't know if I would have survived without the port. Unfortunately my port stopped working and I had to have it removed. The doctor could not believe the amount of scar tissue that developed around it due to the scleroderma. I always ask for a butterfly needle when giving blood. I hate the look from the person taking my blood. Has anyone else ever had the problem of the technician telling you "this is like a butterfly needle". Unless they had our skin problems no one understands how painful a simple thing like giving blood can be.
tammy



#11 Buttons

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 07:39 AM

I also have the same problems wit IV's, the last one took about 5 goes including all the warming with heat pads etc,I was relieved when it was done & they said it would be left in for the whole procedure lasting 3 days but when they came to stop the treament the first night My arm was angry red & swollen they said it had 'tissued out' so then had to have it removed & yes the next day start all over again. The following day the same thing happened - numerous tries by various nurses & Jr Doctors but still they couldn't do it so then they got a consultant to do it & finally it worked & lasted till rest of treatment over but then when they removed it my hand was very painful & badly swollen & I couldn't use it properly until a week later when swelling eventually went down. I also looked liked I'd been attacked because of wonderful multicoloured bruising.

Reading all the other posts do seem as if this is quite common amongst us!

Take care

Jensue

#12 sueinvabeach

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 08:25 AM

I have never had any problems before having blood drawn (I know it's not exactly what you are talking about) but this last time, it took 4 sticks, the time before that it took 5 and 2 lab techs as well as a nurse to finally get a vein that didn't claspse immediately.

This last time, the tech said my veins are really deep and used a blood pressure cuff to "pump" them up to the surface.

Sue
Asthma 1998, Diabetes 2007, Morphea 2007, Fibromyalgia 2007.

#13 KarenL

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 11:12 AM

Yup, me too...really really bad. And every time I go in somewhere they always say "we're the best, don't worry" Ha, next thing I know they are puzzled. My arm veins are so freakin scarred, the last time I went to the hospital having a heart attack, it took 12 IV attempts. They even tried in my neck and thumb!! Finally they put in a central line foe the duration of that visit.

Have them use the baby blue butterfly, NOTHING else. Even when I was having a catheterization and they were supposed to use a 22 the nurse said to the other nurse, "forget it, this (an 18) is the best you're doing with this one. Nothing works, not hot packs, not gravity. I don't know what's going to happen to me either it's getting worse all the time. Probably a port.

Never allow a trainee or newbie to do you. Stand up for yourself. I refuse to allow ambulance EMT's anymore after my last trip they distroyed my only good vein in my hand. He was SURE he could do it in the bumpy ambulance! Nope. Now I am adamant. Good luck, this is a very difficult part of sclero.

Karen

#14 Gidget

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:26 AM

Kim,
I have a port-a-cath and love it. I have had the IV cyclophosphamide and lots of bloodwork drawn through it without any problems.

If you choose to not have a port-a-cath, then you need to drink lots and lots of water starting 2 days before you anticipate blood being drawn. And only use the butterfly needles and have heat applied to your vein area before the blood draw. Depending on who is doing the blood draw, you might need to heat your own arm before you go in.

I have one vein and like you it will roll or collapse I.e. they get the blood going but then it stops. Rather than getting poked everywhere, be sure to tell the technician where your vein is.

If you are going in for surgery, have them start the IV from your Foot. The anesthesiologist can start the line in your foot. More than likely, your foot veins are in much better shape then your arms. However, if you have one of those anesthesiologists that like a "challenge", be sure they use the topical anesthesia -- this way it won't hurt while they are "digging around" trying to get a vein. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask the anesthesiologist to put the IV in as they sometimes have the best experience -- especially at the smaller hospitals.

Like I said, I love my port-a-cath but not many places can/will draw blood through it -- usually the larger hospital or the oncologist or hematology office can do it. For example, nobody at Johns Hopkins office can or will draw it.

Good luck. I have been where you are. gidget



#15 CraigR

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 07:24 AM

I often have this problem.

After spending quite a bit of time in hospital for lymphoma, I concluded that this is something of an art. Some nurses could fiddle around all day trying to find a vein, while others always found it on the first try. My level of anxiety was always a lot lower when the capable nurse/phlebotomist showed up!

Craig

#16 janey

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 05:24 PM

Today was the first day of my 3 day IVIg infusion. The normal number of pokes before getting a vein with good blood flow is between 10 to 15. Today it took ONE POKE!!!! That's a first! Day one is always the worst!

As mentioned in an earlier posting, my infusion nurse recommended doing something to get my blood pressure up since normal for me is 100/60. So today when I got to the clinic I walked about 0.5 miles around its indoor track. I kept moving when I checked in and he immediately set me down and gave it a try. No heating pad, bp cup, squeezy fist ball - He put the band around the wrist and a vein jumped out at him. He poked and the flow was definitely there. He was as excited as I was!

So just something to try next time you need an infusion. It took over 1.5 years to figure it out, but that's o.k. I just hope it works again in the morning.

Big Hugs,
Janey

#17 Kim T

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 07:03 PM

Awesome, I'll definitely try it. The other ideas were good too.