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Old 02-25-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
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Nerve damage from a simple blood draw?

Maybe someone much smarter than I am can tell me if that's what this sounds like or if maybe something else is up:

Tuesday morning I had some blood drawn for basic lab tests and as the kind lady stuck the needle in my arm the top of my hand felt like it was flicked with fire, not severely, but it did hurt. Pain subsided or I didn't notice until Friday when I started getting all weird sensationsIn my forearm. The sensations come and go, but are regular for the past two days. it runs starting along the inside of the elbow and rolls.over the top of my forearm near the wrist and to the back of my hand. Sensations have ranged to cling wrapped or duct taped tightly, to burning, to almost like soaking in cold water, to ripping, and needle pricks, sharper more intense pains and itching... Itching is a newer one... And sometimrs it just doesn't hurt period.

I am seeing the doc monday for appointment that needed the blood work and I will definitely be bringing this up, but right now it's annoying the piss outta me.


Thoughts, opinions, or suggestions?
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Sounds exactly like she hit a nerve
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
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I had this happen when I had to have surgery. The nerve in my hand hurt for about a month and then any time I moved my hand/arm to quickly, I'd feel a sharp pain in the nerve. It took about 3 months to finally go away.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:18 AM   #4
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Where was the needlestick? Antecubital? Back of hand? Elsewhere? Any difficulty in drawing the blood? Were there multiple sticks? Certainly you can have some nerve injury with blood draws although they are exceedingly rare and likely just transient.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:46 AM   #5
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I once got a needle for blood draw that sent a jolt through my entire arm through my fingers. The nurse though I was being a wuss when I instructed her to stop and pulled the needle out of my arm. But I have a chronic condition which has made me very familiar with needles. I explained that she hit a nerve and showed her a couple of other locations that would work. In hundreds of times of being stuck, I have never had that happen again. Odd.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:53 AM   #6
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She hit your antebrachial cutaneous nerve which is part of your radial nerve that is on top of your hand down to your thumb. If it's not severe, should clear up on it's on after a couple weeks, but you may want to get it looked at by a neurologist if it's really bothering you.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:31 AM   #7
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You had a crappy nurse, in my professional opinion. However, with those needles, it's unlikely this is a permanent issue. My advice for the pain is ibuprofen, heat for 20 minutes rest 20 cold 20 twice a day.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:56 AM   #8
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You had a crappy nurse, in my professional opinion. However, with those needles, it's unlikely this is a permanent issue. My advice for the pain is ibuprofen, heat for 20 minutes rest 20 cold 20 twice a day.

Not sure how you got she was a crappy nurse out of that but ok. And using ANY guage phlebotomy needle CAN cause long term, permanant damge if the nerve is struck.

As a phlebotomist for over 20 years, I can tell you that while hitting a nerve CAN happen with a routine blood draw, the odds for it are very slim IF proper proceedures and techniques are used. It can occur by either "nicking" the nerve or by the formation of a hematoma after the neddle has been removed. In the latter, the pain and other symptoms usually resolve themselves within 24-48 hours as the hematoma starts to be absorbed by the body. I would think due to what you stated, it's not from a hematoma.

There are 3 main nerves that phlebotomist have to be aware of not hitting. That I am aware of, I have never had this happen while I have done a blood draw, and I have to be beyond 25,000 draws in my career by now. However, it can occur with even the most experienced doctor, nurse or phlebotomist.

Odds are that it will in fact subside, however, as suggested by a few others, I would most certainly see a doc about it Monday if it persist. There are some reported cases of long term damage. Seeing a doctor early on and getting treatment (if there is a hematoma, cold is recomended, not heat) is imperative to diagnose if there is indeed nerve damge.

Out of curiousty, where on your arm did she draw from ( center of your anticube or outer sides of it) and did she "fish" for the vein or hit it right off?
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrVoodoo View Post
Maybe someone much smarter than I am can tell me if that's what this sounds like or if maybe something else is up:

Tuesday morning I had some blood drawn for basic lab tests and as the kind lady stuck the needle in my arm the top of my hand felt like it was flicked with fire, not severely, but it did hurt. Pain subsided or I didn't notice until Friday when I started getting all weird sensationsIn my forearm. The sensations come and go, but are regular for the past two days. it runs starting along the inside of the elbow and rolls.over the top of my forearm near the wrist and to the back of my hand. Sensations have ranged to cling wrapped or duct taped tightly, to burning, to almost like soaking in cold water, to ripping, and needle pricks, sharper more intense pains and itching... Itching is a newer one... And sometimrs it just doesn't hurt period.

I am seeing the doc monday for appointment that needed the blood work and I will definitely be bringing this up, but right now it's annoying the piss outta me.


Thoughts, opinions, or suggestions?
in the past few years i have had blood transfusions,iv drips for weeks and so much blood pulled out ..i really can't recall the number of times. but i know it hurts bad when a vessel collapses. my arm was so bruised and hard as a rock ..i was ready to just call it quits.

when you go to the dr's on monday..ask him/her to draw your blood from this point on..that's the way i do it now.. i dont go to a clinic/lab and have it done...i don't have faith in them anymore..

p.s.-on my one journey ..i told this "student nurse" my arm was really hurting me..and i couldn't feel my hand/fingers..she alerted the "head nurse" that i told the same thing too some few hours early..they pulled the iv and i never saw blood shoot out like that before..all over the student..all the pressure and backflow what it was..the iv was doing ****..
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:34 AM   #10
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in the past few years i have had blood transfusions,iv drips for weeks and so much blood pulled out ..i really can't recall the number of times. but i know it hurts bad when a vessel collapses. my arm was so bruised and hard as a rock ..i was ready to just call it quits.

when you go to the dr's on monday..ask him/her to draw your blood from this point on..that's the way i do it now.. i dont go to a clinic/lab and have it done...i don't have faith in them anymore..

p.s.-on my one journey ..i told this "student nurse" my arm was really hurting me..and i couldn't feel my hand/fingers..she alerted the "head nurse" that i told the same thing too some few hours early..they pulled the iv and i never saw blood shoot out like that before..all over the student..all the pressure and backflow what it was..the iv was doing ****..
When you get your blood drawn, do you bend your arm up after wards? If so, STOP! I know a LOT of doctors, nurses and phlebs tell you to bend your arm afterwards but it's the worst thing to do and it used to be common practice to tell patients to do it. Imagine your vein as like a straw. Cut a small hole in a straw and bend it at the hole, what happens? The hole gets larger. The same applies to the area you had a venipuncture done. When you get your blood drawn, you should keep your arm straight and apply pressure over the site for at least 2 minutes ( longer if you're on asprin or blood thinners).

It sounds to me like you got a hematoma when you descibe it being hard as a rock and bruised. That usually comes from either the person "fishing" for the vein, or excessive bleeding after the blood draw is done. As for the IV, it sounds like that might have infiltrated , meaning the IV fluid was going into the tissue and not into the vein.

If you found a doctor you are comfortable with and willing to draw your labs, I say go for it. In my experience though, very few doctors do venipuncture often so some are down right horrible at it when they do.And a lot shy away from doing it as it's just another proceedure they can be sued for if something goes wrong, so they would rather send the patients elsewhere for it. The same holds for most nurses in hospitals. Usually, hospitals have on staff phlebs, so nurses do very little venipuncture. I work for a lab, and most of the patients I deal with HATE having their blood drawn at a hospital because thier nurses and phlebs do not have as much experience as those that usually work at a lab. I average between 50 and 100 sticks a day, where a nurse on a floor may do a couple a day, and a hospital phleb might do one or two floors of patients a day. Hospitals tend to hire phlebs without much experience, where as labs, due to the type and amount of patients, want phlebotomist with years of drawing experience and thousands of sticks. Laboratory phlebs usually are much better at pediatric and geriatric draws as well due to the experience and amount of draws they have. But like with everything else, there are labs who are more concerned with the bottom line then paying for experienced phlebs. Again, if you find someone you're comfortable with, stick ( no pun intended ) with them!
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:13 AM   #11
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broknbusted View Post

If you found a doctor you are comfortable with and willing to draw your labs, I say go for it. In my experience though, very few doctors do venipuncture often so some are down right horrible at it when they do.And a lot shy away from doing it as it's just another proceedure they can be sued for if something goes wrong, so they would rather send the patients elsewhere for it. The same holds for most nurses in hospitals. Usually, hospitals have on staff phlebs, so nurses do very little venipuncture. I work for a lab, and most of the patients I deal with HATE having their blood drawn at a hospital because thier nurses and phlebs do not have as much experience as those that usually work at a lab. I average between 50 and 100 sticks a day, where a nurse on a floor may do a couple a day, and a hospital phleb might do one or two floors of patients a day. Hospitals tend to hire phlebs without much experience, where as labs, due to the type and amount of patients, want phlebotomist with years of drawing experience and thousands of sticks. Laboratory phlebs usually are much better at pediatric and geriatric draws as well due to the experience and amount of draws they have. But like with everything else, there are labs who are more concerned with the bottom line then paying for experienced phlebs. Again, if you find someone you're comfortable with, stick ( no pun intended ) with them!
Very good advice. I use to be a medical technologist at Baptist Hospital, and I would take a phlebotomist for a blood draw over any other health care professional any day of the week.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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Google RSD or complex regional pain syndrome if it doesent let up. My wife got this from a simple ankle sprang. Not saying that's what it is, but you need to be familiar with it. If it is RSD you will want to get to a pain specialist and get a nerve block in your shoulder ASAP to settle the nerve down. I think it's important everyone know the symptoms of RSD, because it can be terrible if left untreated and many docs have never heard of it. If anybody had delt with it, they understand. In short, it's where the nerves go nuts over a minor injury and noone knows why. Usually happens when people are under heavy stress. The two major early symptoms are burning and over sensitivity especially to ice
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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I definitely wouldn't say she was a crappy nurse - mistakes happen if that's what it was and it's almost certainly what it sounds like. I've got tough veins to find and always have -I've had multiple blood draws from my hand for ease of access though.

anyway the blood draw was from the crook of the elbow - she checked a few times with her fingers to find it, apparently thought she located it and then stuck the needle in - that's when I felt the burning sensation over the top of my hand. She then had to move the needle a little to my right and push a little harder to get the needle into the vein. It was as if the vein rolled on her - it was something that I've had happen previously due to my veins and something I understand and hold no ill feelings about. It's just that initial burning sensation and the sensations I'm having the past few days sucks. I'm hoping as a few have said that this is something that'll resolve itself in a few days/weeks rather than something that's permanent. I don't want to go through the rest of my days cringing when I pick up a bottle of water or stretching when I wake up... or whatever else.
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