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CT Scan / Cannula disaster

So last week I had a CT scan on my small bowel. Should have been pretty straight forward but mistakes were made!

So first off I drank a load of movieprep whilst I waited. After half an hour they took me through to insert the cannula in the vein in my arm. The nurse did not seem confident, she asked a colleague to look at my vein first to check. She then proceeded to makes a complete hash of it, caught my artery and blood sprayed everywhere.

I then had one nurse putting extreme pressure on the area (imagine having someone jam their thumb into a bad bruise) whilst the inept nurse went to work on my other arm, which thankfully she managed to do this time.

Due to the sudden change in blood pressure I nearly passed out, I needed to lay back on the bed and drink water.

After 5 minutes I started to feel normal again....but guess what...by this time the movieprep was kicking in. I had to get to the toilet and do my business fast!

Then I hear a bang at the toilet door, it is my turn to go through to the scan. By this point I am one handed (my strong arm still badly bruised and immobile) so as you can imagine I was a bit pissed off by this point as none of this was my fault. So I hurriedly clean up and open the door to 3 nurses and a wheelchair.

The CT Scan itself was fine, quite relaxing in fact, but what had happened before really left a bad taste in my mouth.

Since, my arm has been aching a lot and throbbing at times, if anything it has got slightly worse as time has gone by.

Has anyone else had arm pain since cannulas/injections etc?
I recently had a phlebotomist hit a tendon instead of a vein, and that sucker hurt for two weeks after. If it gets really bad, call up your doc and have it checked out?


Staff member
Sorry to hear you've had such a nasty experience :( .

I almost always have problems with my veins, sometimes made worse by the nurses, if they don't get blood, a lot of them will just wiggle the needle about in my arm for as long as they can get away with.

I've had some pretty nasty bruises, and some have taken a few weeks to feel better, try to rest your arm, don't lift heavy things etc, but keep moving it as much as is comfortable to stop it seizing up. keep the site clean and call your doctor if it looks like it's getting infected ( hot to touch , pus, funny green colour etc) .