Posted on: 16 September 2016
Medical professionals usually find it easy to locate a vein in most people's arms when they need to draw some blood. However, some people's veins are harder to spot and then hit with a needle. This tends to be a problem faced by those who require frequent blood tests, although it can happen to anyone. Even if you're perfectly comfortable with needles, nobody likes having to receive multiple pricks in order for a vein to be found. Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to make things a little easier the next time you're at a bulk-billing medical centre for tests.
1. Drink Up
Firstly, make sure you're properly hydrated before you need to give blood. Your veins will be far plumper and easier to find if you've had plenty of water. Try drinking steadily during the day, then take a large glass or two 30 minutes or so before you need to see the doctor or nurse.
2. Avoid the Cold
Your circulatory system, much like the rest of your body, isn't really a big fan of being cold. When your body is cold, the veins constrict, making them tricky to find and then hit with a needle. If the weather outside is anything less than balmy, try wearing something warm that doesn't expose your arms. If you have blood taken at home, try taking a warm shower before your nurse is due to arrive.
3. Get Pumped
If you've ever lifted a few weights, you'll know that doing so tends to make the veins in your arms and hands bulge out more noticeably than before. There's no need to break out your dumbbells or start doing push-ups in the doctor's office, but you can achieve a similar effect by keeping your arms hanging at your sides and slowly opening and closing your fists. If you have a stress ball, try squeezing that instead.
4. Avoid Morning Appointments
Sometimes it will be necessary to take an appointment in the morning, but try to take a later slot if you can. Your body's heart rate falls when you are asleep, so veins tend to lie flatter in the morning than they do after you've been awake for a good few hours. If you do have to take one of those morning bookings, make sure you eat a full breakfast, jump in a hot shower and walk around a little.
5. Ask for a Different Nurse or Doctor
If in doubt, you can always request another nurse or doctor. Some medical professionals, whether through training or experience, are simply better at drawing blood from patients with smaller veins. If you have found that a certain nurse seems to have a better success rate than others, try requesting him or her for your next appointment.Share