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Does anyone have advice for blood donation when you have small veins to make the next donation go easier?

A couple weeks ago I donated blood for the first time and it took four different people and nearly an hour to find a vein! I was born 10 weeks preemie and I've been told because of that I have much smaller veins and arteries than an average adult. I also have "rolling veins" so all the blood tests during my pregnancies prepared me for the fact that donating blood may be less pleasant for me than others I know who donate but I still wanted to donate. The people there were friendly and good humored about it all and they all kinda cheered when they finally spiked my vein and saw how good I bleed and then of course because I was already running late and my luck sucks so it took longer than usual to stop bleeding - it finally stopped after using an ice pack for 10 minutes. I want to donate as often as possible but I'd like to try and ease the process; does anyone have suggestions to make things easier next time?

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Asked by momof2inCT2007 at 5:38 PM on Dec. 11, 2009 in Health

Level 16 (2,733 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • stay really, really hydrated and warm. Ask for the most experienced phlebotomist they have.

    Answer by babyboyzz at 5:40 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Ask for a smaller guage needle.

    Answer by EireLass at 5:42 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Butterfly needles that are used on babies and kids usually work well for me and someone who really knows what they are doing!

    Answer by all4mymarine at 6:19 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I agree with the butterfuly needle they are great for small veins and staying well hydrated and warm.

    Answer by QandA at 6:26 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I have the same problem (rolling viens) whenever I have to get a blood draw it was always the same. one day one of the nurses suggested a pediatric needle, it takes a little longer, cause it is smaller, but it works a lot better for me. Also drink a lot more fluids before the draw, that should help too!

    Good Job for giving blood!!!

    Answer by mereinhart28 at 6:27 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I've never had anyone have a problem with finding my veins. I have huge veins. The only time I've ever had to be stuck twice was when I went into the hospital to have my son. The staff there were a bunch of idiots!

    Answer by LaurenKaye29 at 8:49 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I do know that nurses had a much easier time finding my veins when I was riding a motorcycle - all that clutch and break work really helped them to pop out more.

    ....not that you need to get a motorcycle but squeezing exercises for your hands would probably be effective.

    Answer by mogencreative at 10:57 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

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