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Unread 10-29-2011, 12:27 PM
IV problems

The last 2 times I needed surgery, IV insertion took forever (repeated poking and digging). With my last surgery, a vein was blown in my left hand. Everything I've read recommends being well hydrated for blood tests, but how can anyone be well hydrated for surgery when you're not allowed to drink anything for hours before surgery? My surgery is scheduled for Monday and I don't want to go through this nightmare again. Is there a better location for IV's to be inserted where they can get it the first time and people can still bend their arms?
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Unread 10-29-2011, 12:36 PM
Re: IV problems

I went home with blown veins and bruises. I looked like my arms were beat up.
I had blood drawn 2 weeks prior, 4 days prior, had 2 IVs in surgery, had 2 blood draws and IV 3 days post surgery. For a grand total of 12 pokes in 2 weeks...
You can only think what my arms looked like and what so many people thought when hubby would help me using those same arms. LOL!

The best place and less bruising I have is the back of my hands. All of them were sore but there was none or very little bruising there.

I feel for you. It is so hard to have "Tough" veins. I have no advice for the best place. it was pure trial and error for me.

Good luck and here is wishing you a one poke IV....
Unread 10-29-2011, 12:45 PM
Re: IV problems

My veins aren't tough at all in the crook of my arm where blood tests are done. They're just tough in my hands. The problem is, I wouldn't be able to bend my arms. I wish IV lines could be inserted before pre surgery dehydration. I'd love to have it done the day before surgery when I'm not dehydrated.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:16 PM
Re: IV problems

Drawing blood isn't an issue for me. Putting in an IV is--BIG time!

I always let those needing to put in an IV in me know that it will be an issue, no matter how nice my veins look! Using a butterfly needle helps and often I am need to have the IV in the bend of my arm, regardless of how uncomfortable, simply because that is the easiest place to get it in.

Besides drinking plenty up until your cut off time, also ask for a warm blanket as soon as you can in Pre Op. For me, being cold complicates the whole thing so getting warmed up can help.

I wish you all the best!
Unread 10-29-2011, 01:17 PM
Re: IV problems

You can ask them to insert it the day before surgery, they tape it to your arm and cap it off. I have had this done a couple times as I have veins that are hard to poke. The other thing they can do which helps is get them to use a blood pressure cuff inflated instead of the rubber band they tie around your arm. It helps to pump up the veins more evenly so the best ones are easy to find. Have them wrap a heated blanket around your arm as well for a few minutes before they try, this brings the veins closer to the surface.

Good luck I know how annoying it can be.
Unread 10-30-2011, 07:16 PM
Re: IV problems

They also wrapped my arm with a heated blanket to help bring the vein to the surface.

I have no trouble getting a blood draw and even getting an IV for a blood transfusion. When I mentioned that to the OR nurses they said that the needles they use for surgery are much larger.

They had a lot of trouble getting the surgical IV in, so they decided to do an IV with a smaller needle for the things I needed in pre-op before they put me to sleep and then they stuck me with the larger needle once I was already asleep in the OR.

Maybe this would work for you?
Unread 10-30-2011, 07:23 PM
Re: IV problems

How did they put you to sleep before inserting the larger needle? I thought they needed the larger needle to administer general anesthesia. Did they have you breathe gas?
Unread 10-30-2011, 09:43 PM
Re: IV problems

I don't know if they need the larger needle to administer the anesthesia.

From what I understand from the nurses, the larger needle is to administer fluids quicker during surgery. They want to make sure they can get fluids in to you very quickly. They told me that the ER (where I got my blood transfusions) used smaller needles.

They can administer intravenous medications through a smaller needle. I've had them when I had my blood transfusions and when I had general anesthesia when I had my wisdom teeth pulled out.

They gave me something to sedate me through the smaller gauge needle prior to my hysterectomy and I woke up with an additional IV.

I believe the size of the needle just has to do with how fast the liquid gets into your bloodstream.

However, I very well could be wrong! :0)
Unread 10-30-2011, 10:54 PM
Re: IV problems

Auntsunflower- that is how it was for me too...
I had a larger needle that was inserted after I was out. They used the smaller one to give me a knock out then inserted the large needle... By the time I fully woke the large needle was all ready out...

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