• How many of you have a certain arm and certain vein you suggest for blood draws?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Friday, June 23, 2017

    How many of you have a certain arm and certain vein you suggest for blood draws?

    It seems, depending on where I go, they always start looking at my arms and then start making "uh-oh" faces. Then they put on the tunicate and still can't find anything. I have a big fat one on the underside of my right arm that I could hit myself, I will usually point to it and ask, "why don't you just use this one"? They usually say they don't want to because it will hurt too much. But it doesn't hurt any more than getting jabbed 3 or 4 times in other places. So that's the one I offer up each time. How about you?

    26 Answers from the Community

    26 answers
    • dollymama's Avatar
      dollymama

      I have one arm that's better than the other, but no favorite veins. They can just find one easier in that arm.

      about 2 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      These days, the best draws come from between my fingers on my right hand.

      about 2 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      I was offered blood tests yesterday at a general physical. I refused. Enough is enough.

      about 2 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      I do, though when possible I prefer they use my port. Unfortunately many of nurses that prep me for my scans do not know how to access or close my port so they set up a pic line, one the plus side I have all 3 scans (bone, MRI of abdomen & Pelvis, Chest CT), all done on the same day one right after another.

      about 2 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I always have them use my right arm, as I had a lymph node removed from my left (actually, two nodes, both benign but one was hard so my surgeon removed it).

      about 2 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My veins are toast after chemo. I try to talk them into using my port, but they often wont. In that case, i have veins on my hands that are still accessible. Yes, it hurts to get IVs there, but like you said, Greg, it beats them sticking and probing time after time.

      about 2 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      My go to vein is in the crook of my right arm. When I donated blood years ago, they would draw blood from either arm but the left vein liked to wiggle around .. My right arm has always been dependable .

      about 2 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Right arm since bc.But for veins (I don't have any) LOL My left arm wasn't as bad as my right arm to have blood draws.And IV's are almost impossible.It sometimes takes a few people to stick me .

      about 2 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Interesting, Greg. Yes, it seems like using the vein you request wouldn't hurt any more than getting poked someplace else three or four times. Do they ever finally do as you ask? And, if so, does it hurt any worse?

      I ask them to use my left arm because my right breast was the side that had cancer and also two lymph nodes (both clear, thank heavens) were removed from the right side. I am told that the chances of my getting lymphedema are minimal but I'm still careful.

      about 2 years ago
    • triciab's Avatar
      triciab

      I've never had good veins. They can only use the right because of removed lymph nodes on the left. The vein in the center is the one I prefer and is not visible but most good phlebotomists can find it. I'm becoming more aggressive if someone tries to do a blood draw or IV and doesn't seem confident (or won't listen to me). I ask for their best person. There is usually someone who is better than the rest. Last time I needed an IV they had to try 3 times and I ended up with cellulitis. Apparently that is not uncommon when you have 2 or more needlesticks in the same area. We've been through a lot - it's ok to ask for the best to avoid unnecessary pain. (I do miss my port for this reason but was also glad to get it out.)

      about 2 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      They usually use my port. But if they have to use my arm I suggest my right. Seems to work every time

      about 2 years ago
    • Shterna's Avatar
      Shterna

      I do have one spot that I recommend.I also always ask for a hot pack to put on that spot for several minutes before they poke me.it usually helps.

      about 2 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I have no choice. Since I had lymph nodes removed, they have to use my right arm. Fortunately, it is not any harder for them to use the right side than it was the left.

      about 2 years ago
    • Whitey61's Avatar
      Whitey61

      Make sure to be well hydrated on your trip to hospital, makes finding a suitable vein easier..lots of water..right arm inside at elbow I have a nice one that calls out "stick me"...have had the hand sticks as well, yup, they are painful.

      about 2 years ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      Hubby has to have the left arm used since the right one is affected by his stroke and is usually swollen.

      about 2 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I hand them both arms and tell them to find whatever vein is best for them. I do warn them that I had the chemo going in via IV on the left side, so those veins might be a bit ragged. The little vampires at my oncology office are amazing and have never had to try more than twice -- most times just once. I go outside my oncology office -- PCP, biometric screening for work, etc, then I get to play pincushion!

      about 2 years ago
    • Shterna's Avatar
      Shterna

      Yes,being hydrated at least from the day before and that day also helps.Not drinking tea.Tea ,although great for many things,also be dehydrating so I would avoid tea the day before or that day of poking.Lots of warm water!!!

      about 2 years ago
    • sarasmash's Avatar
      sarasmash

      I always tell them to do my right arm, because it's the easiest, but before I had my port put back in, they kept going for the left and in my hand. Now that's painful! But, for some reason my arm doesn't want to give it up anymore, it always has to be in my hand.

      about 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I have a scar over my left vein. All of my veins are small, while the walls of the vein are very tough. Then the vein in the right arm is not anchored in anyway, so the needle goes sliding off, while the vein rolls around. It's like having a pinball machine in my arm.

      about 2 years ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      Meyati - You sound like me. My veins are tiny, scarred and known for rolling. When I am in our hospital and my name comes up on the lab list they literally flip a coin. I kid you not. I have had to endure 6 or7 sticks before they accomplish anything. Just a few weeks ago I was taken to the ER by ambulance. Our hospital is in the next town but they have just opened a free-standing ER in our town. I could see the paramedic starting to gather everything he needed for an IV and I just told him to stop, don't waste his time. He couldn't wait to tell the doctor (whom I had never met before) that I refused the IV. He was offended I'm sure. I was discharged about 7-8 hours later with 6 needle XXX in my arms and hands and they didn't get a drop of my blood.It was truly a good thing that having my blood was not necessary for a diagnosis. I would have had to be transferred to the hospital. Upon discharge, the doctor had a smile on his face when he pointed to a couple of the band-aids (which really weren't needed) and said: "It really is true that no one knows our bodies better than us." Ironically, two days later I was in the same ER again. My nurse was new to the hospital system and I tried to warn him when he went for the IV. We compromised on giving him one shot at it and he got it on the first try! I can remember being hospitalized for an infected gall bladder for 3 weeks back in the 60s. Today they'd just go in and take it out and send you home on antibiotics. I ultimately developed phlebitis and they had to go to my feet for blood! Very painful. I now have to have my blood checked weekly because of my chemo.The girl that runs the lab is phenomenal. Once I showed up for my appointment and the receptionist said that Becky had to take the day off and someone else was covering. I told her to give me a call when she was back at work. I'm too old and tired of being the perverbial pin cushion.

      about 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I sympathise. For some reason I had lots of labs with my first pregnancy-Navy. The Navy corpsman saw me, and he actually reached the point where he cried each time he saw me coming. . At that time both the AMA and USN said that the blood had to come from the right arm. Patients would be lined up while he kept jabbing. Finally the Air Force let them take blood from the left arm, and it didn't kill me either. I'm actually still alive

      about 2 years ago
    • Ellie59's Avatar
      Ellie59

      Absolutely most of my veins role. I have two easy stick spots both on my right arm.

      I am a very hard stick!

      about 2 years ago
    • Whitey61's Avatar
      Whitey61

      Yes, hydrate with lots of water day before and on the way day of, avoid both coffee and tea...makes for happy sticking..lol

      about 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      hydration doesn't make that much difference when the problem is rolling veins with tough skins. I've never had anyone to tell me to hydrate

      about 2 years ago
    • charnell's Avatar
      charnell

      Having lymphedema on both arms makes it tough. My right arm is the worst, so I absolutely do not use that one for blood draws or blood pressure. My left arm I do not use for blood pressure, but do allow it to be used for blood draws and iv's.

      about 2 years ago
    • barbaraanne's Avatar
      barbaraanne

      Always my right, since my breast cancer and node removal were on the left.

      about 2 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more invasive, squamous cell carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive, Squamous Cell Carcinoma page.