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Drawing blood, did I hit a nerve?

CNA/MA   (639 Views 3 Comments)
by Slipping CMA Slipping CMA (Member) Member

1,409 Profile Views; 59 Posts

I’ve been a CMA for 4 yrs and I’ve been drawing blood all that time. I’m not the type of person who can get blood out of a rock but I am experienced. I do work for a doctors office and draw about 20 patients a day  usually there is one or two patients I don’t feel comfortable drawing blood so I don’t try and just call someone else  


I was drawing this one patient, he had a nice juicie vein, the median cubital vein I believe it’s called.  It was a perfect draw, I didn’t go in too deep, I hit the middle of the vein and was right there at a good angle. Patient didn’t complain until I drew out the needle. He just calmly mentioned to me the sight was sore after I pulled out the needle. No sharp shooting pains just sore at that point.  I called the head CMA to talk to the patient and she didn’t think it was a big deal just told him ice and OTC pain relief  she has been working with this doctor for over 20 years so she is very knowledgeable and experienced  


Yesterday, one week after the blood draw, he came in to see the doctor about his arm. He now says he is getting shooting pains in his arm but there was no bruising or hematoma at the sight. Doctor asked me if I happen to dig around at the sight which I didn’t and told him so. 


The doctor told me to never “dig around” at the site because there are nerves right there.  I didn’t know this but I don’t dig around, if I miss I miss and get someone else. I don’t try a second time because patients aren’t human pun cushions.  It’s just the way I am, some people  don’t have a choice but I do. 


I am just freeking out right now that I could have hurt a patient. Does it sound to you like I hit a nerve?  I know only the doctor can diagnose this but this really has me worried that I might have hurt a patient. I just want others experience with this. 


I’m hard on myself when it comes to drawing blood and do take it very seriously. I try to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible and they come 1st. 


Thanks for any help you can offer me, my nerves are shot over this. 

Edited by Slipping CMA

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

787 Posts; 8,029 Profile Views

I suppose it's possible. I know it's easy for me to say to just let it go. You saw the vein. You felt it. You got the vein. No problems til afterward. I don't see anything you could have done differently. 

I've been poked once in a nerve. The pain was immediate and aweful. Now she WAS digging around, and when I winced and said over and over "you hit a nerve, you hit a nerve!"...she kept the needle in! I had to tell her to take the needle out 🤦‍♀️ I think you're good. If a nerve was touched when withdrawing the needle, well, nothing can change that now. At least you didn't hit a nerve and keep the needle in! You also notified the right people immediately after. Unlike the MA who did mine and said nothing ☹️

Edited by Orion81RN

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