Blood Draw? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 13 Old 10-06-2005, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm taking my 17 month old in for a blood draw tomorrow to have his lead levels tested. Any suggestions on helping him stay comfortable during?

When he was 4 months old he ran a high fever for a number of days and we had to have his blood drawn and the thing that upset him more than the needle was the rubber hose they wrapped around his arm. As soon as it came off he was much better.

TIA!
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#2 of 13 Old 10-06-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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I think the best thing you can do is not be nervous yourself. And, although 17 mo might be a little too young to understand the words, the way you talk about it can help him feel more comfortable. E.g., "First the doctor's going to tie the tube on your arm, then s/he's going to take the blood. It might sting for one second, but then it will be all over."

Also, our naturopath usually shows my son what she's going to do on herself or me first, then does it to him. That helps him know what's coming so he doesn't feel as afraid (although my son gets scared just getting his head measured and ears checked!) You can ask your doctor to do this, at least with the tube part.
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#3 of 13 Old 10-06-2005, 09:47 PM
 
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If you're nursing, I'd recommend that. There was some research done on nursing while baby was having needles, it helps. I nursed my dd at 12 mo during a catheter insertion and the nurses were absolutely amazed that she didn't cry. They said it was the first baby they'd ever done that didn't cry during that procedure.

Once my dd had that anaesthetic stuff they put on the arm before a needle- that was totally useless.

Or having a comfort object he can hold.
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#4 of 13 Old 10-06-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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Oh, it just sucks. If you are going to a lab they probably won't let you nurse because they want you to hold them in a specific way.

Dd has had her blood drawn twice and both time she went nuts. She was fine as soon as I got her on the boob.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#5 of 13 Old 10-06-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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You can ask if you can hold him and if you can nurse him, I think it just depends on your doctor and how much they need to draw. I also tried to explain to dd before it happened, and then to reassure her while it was happening by saying "it'll be done in one minute. Let's sing." and singing "old MacDonald," which she likes. She cried, but it wasn't horrendous, and it was done quickly.

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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#6 of 13 Old 10-06-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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We did the lead draw at 15 months, and pretty much, we just suffered through it. I asked for an extra tech to come in and help out so someone could try to distract dd while I held her and the nurse drew the blood. Dd seemed most upset by being held. As soon as they were done we felw out and I nursed her and she was fine. They are so resiliant! I think I had more long-term effects than she did :LOL

Good Luck!

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#7 of 13 Old 10-07-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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The topical anesthetic cream (EMLA) needs to be applied under a plastic non porous bandage at least 30 min prior to the blood draw in order for it to be effective...and 45 to 60 min is better!

I requested it for a blood draw that was ordered by our doctor. The doc had to write a scrip for it for me. I went to CVS to fill it and the pharmacist said "Good doctor for ordering this for you. My wife is a ped nurse and so few doctors use this on children." I went on to tell him that it was at my request that our doc ordered it.

The pharmacist was very clear to instruct me how to use it so it was effective. He suggested I apply it to the arm, then take a piece of Saran wrap and place over it and then tape it in place so that it was well covered. Apparently the skin pores open up and allow the med to penetrate to do their job of numbing.

Also, if you use this, apply it to BOTH arms because if they can't get a vein on one arm, they will want to try the other one and you will be prepared.

My dd was really great for the stick and never flinched but she missed the vein and started fishing around with the needle and that did hurt her. I asked her to stop, re-stick and NOT fish. She did and missed it again and I said that's it, we're done.

Having had a traumatic IV experience as a small child, I am very sensitive to this topic!

Anyhow, I have a tube of it that I have loaned to people for blood draws. Last time I loaned it was to a 40 year old friend who had anxiety about blood draws and she said she never even felt it! She was so grateful!!!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#8 of 13 Old 10-07-2005, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the tips! We go this afternoon and I'll try all of them if I get the chance (except for the cream, don't have an rx for it but I'll remember for next time if he has a hard time today).

Actually, he's got a really high threshold for pain so I'm hoping the needle part isn't too traumatic. I think the being held part will be the worst for him.

Just say a quick prayer for us and thanks again!!!
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#9 of 13 Old 10-07-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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It's hard!
My ds is now 3 but he had to have blood drawn for several reasons at various ages. At 18 months there's not much you can do to prepare them.
At that age my ds howled and thrashed just from his arm being immobilized, and the tourniquet applied around his arm. I think that was worse than the stick. He didn't seem to mind that too much. There was nothing I could do during the actual procedure but hold him tight and steel myself until it was over. Nursing was impossible, he'd scream and thrash. Pacifier would come flying out. Nothing distracted him. Once we got through it I'd nurse him right there, and when he was weaned I'd give him his pacifier and talk soothingly too him. I hated it and tears would come to my eyes but staying calm was important, because ds responded better if I was calm.

He had blood drawn recently and he sat there and watched the phlebotomist and was very interested. No crying at all. I was so surprised, it certainly made it less painful for me. We've also found a girl who always gets the blood on the first stick, she's awesome!

I hope it goes well for you both!
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#10 of 13 Old 10-07-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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I have to go and take my ds (17 months) next week for the same thing. I'm horrified. I can't even watch my own blood being taken. My dh is going with us- thank goodness.

How do you ladies get over the fact that your dc is begging for your help to stop this and you have to allow it to happen? That's the hardest part for me. It's as if I am the one hurting him. Ugh! I hate this!
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#11 of 13 Old 10-07-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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I'm kind of baffled. When DS got his lead test, they just pricked his finger. Why do they need so much blood???

Tis the season, for hot apple cider!
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#12 of 13 Old 10-07-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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We just had it done with our 1yo. Nursing, no holding down, and lots of distraction with lab stuff: shiny bandaids, tongue depressor, etc. helped a lot. Although he still screamed, it was short-lived. Good luck.
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#13 of 13 Old 10-11-2005, 02:31 PM
 
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my dd's had her blood drawn monthly since birth. She is now 18 months old. She does great. Doesn't cry much if at all.

I think the biggest thing is that you stay relaxed. They cue from you as to how to respond.
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