Why is arm bruised & vein swollen after blood draw at ER?

Posted by zoelife @zoelife, Mar 3 11:20pm

Last Friday I was at the E.R. for something that has thankfully subsided. While there I had my blood drawn for testing.

The nurse first put the needle into my basilic vein before asking me where I prefer she puts the needle. It didn’t make sense for her to choose that vein because my cephalic and median cubical veins were more easily accessible (inner side of my elbow crease). The moment she put the needle in to begin her draw (had already started drawing blood) I had unusual pain that caused me to gasp it was so uncomfortable. Did she hit a nerve or..?

Immediately I looked to see what vein she pierced (I chose not to watch up to that point) and when I saw it was on the side of my arm I asked, “why did you put the needle there”? It hurts so bad, will you please take it out right now and put it in the main vein on the inside of my elbow? She apologized and said okay.

Then she put the needle in the inside of my elbow of my left arm with no problem – the only pain I had was the initial prick.

However, since I left the hospital my right arm has been in weird pain, the arm is bruised at venipuncture site with what looks to be a literal line of blood under the skin, swollen tenderness at place needle went in, and the vein appears to be inflamed/swollen. I’ve never had such side effects from a blood draw before.

Should I get this checked at the clinic? Does this look similar to superficial thrombophlebitis? Or perhaps hematoma? I am trusting it will go away on its own and waiting it out for now.

Hi @zoelife,
It's never fun to have a blown vein from a medical professional who is supposed to be caring for you. I have had my share with my brittle thin veins. That being said, in my personal opinion (I am not a medical professional and am not offering medical advice) it doesn't look too concerning at this time. I would definitely keep an eye on it because if the swelling increases, if your arm becomes hot and feverish or if any sort of pus develops then I would seek medical treatment immediately.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/blown-vein#cause
Did they only draw blood or did she try to insert an IV in the first stick?

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