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Where is the least painful place to have blood taken?

I am about to have a Blood test and was wandering where is the least painful place to have blood taken?

The back of the hand.


The crook of the arm.

Up until now I have had it taken from the back of my hand but in order to be able to have my infusions at home I may have to change to having it taken from my crook of my arm.

As this is a significant change from where I am used to having it done I am nervous about how painful it might be compared to where I usually have it and was wandering if anyone with experience of both could tell me which is the least painful option?
In my experience It's always been less painfull in my arm. I've had it taken from my hand but only a few times when the veins in my arms refused to play along and it was quite difficult and painfull in my experiences.
I don't think any location I've had blood drawn has been painful. That being said, I do prefer IV's be placed just proximal to the wrist so that I can bend my wrist without discomfort.


Blood for me doesn't really make a difference in the arm or the hand, but man there are some bad nurses when it comes to needles. I've had a few nurses where I would of rather done it myself!

Like scl said though, for IV's definately in the hand. That's the worst when you can't bend your arm.
Just to clarify one thing when you say IVs you mean my Infusion correct.

If so then Yeah I have already made up my mind as far as that goes that no freaking way am I having that done in my crook of my arm due to the above reasons.

But as this is just a blood test I am wandering if having to change location of where the blood is taken would mean a increase in pain.

More responses would be greatly appreciated I am hoping to have a good few by tomorrow to help me make a decision.
For a blood test, the crook of the arm is the way to go. I am not fond of the back of the hand for IV's - I find them sensitive, and if you have rookie nurses they are more likely to blow the vein there, and the brusing afterwards is more uncomfortable.


Butterfly needles in the crook of the arm!
I hate the regular size needles, the nurses always seem to manage exploding my veins when they use them. Personally, my veins appears to be more delicate on the top of my hands and I would second Shamrock that it is more painful when they blow there.
Butterfly needles in the crook of the arm!
I hate the regular size needles, the nurses always seem to manage exploding my veins when they use them. Personally, my veins appears to be more delicate on the top of my hands and I would second Shamrock that it is more painful when they blow there.
Well that is a handy extra bit of info as one thing I did not mention is I will be asking for it to be done by butterfly needle as that has been my least painful needle experience when it comes to the back of my hand.

one question. What do you mean when they blow there?

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Taking blood I have a great vein in the crook of the arm. IF you dont go too deep, it can hurt!! Last one in Sept I had such a bad draw that she stabbed me and I had my step sons wedding and short sleeves...HOLY COW it was so black, blue and purple.... I had to try and use makeup cover up to make it less noticable, I am sure people thought I was a junkie... She was new and I will make note of it.

IV or infusions the back of my hand never, the side of my wrist is the best place and very rare do they get it in the first time...I always say "you only get one crack at it or get someone else one time it took 7 tries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OUCH!


I mean like when they miss it or make it burst? lol. or explose? I am not so good with those terms (english is my second language). If the nurse misses her attempt and that it punctures the vein and the blood spreads and makes a bruise? That is what I meant.
Its all dependent on the Nurse IMO. Some are so gentle you hardly know its being done. Others can be very ham fisted & one IMO managed to push the needle right though my vein & it hurt rather a lot & I told her. The bruising was awful.
So hopefully you'll get a gentle nurse & it'll be all over before you know it.
Hi, I am a Medical Laboratory Technologist and it is my job to take blood from people.

It is more painful to have blood drawn from your hand as there are many more nerve endings in your hand than on your arm. That being said, an experienced phlebotomist(person trained to take blood) can reduce the amount of pain due to skill.

It is usually much easier and less painfull to take blood from the crook of the arm and again the skill level of the tech can make a huge difference.

Butterfly's have their place, but can lead to problems with the sample if not used correctly. Also if the person has to use a butterfly in the crook of your arm, that speaks to a lower skill level and less confidence on their part.

And all of the above can go out the window if patient is really sick. Some people's veins just go absolutley to shit once they are not feeling well or after multiple misses or numerous draws on the only "good" spot.

Do not be afraid to request someone experienced. And do not ever let the same person poke you more than twice. If they can't get you on two tries, then they probably won't be able to.

Also make sure to pay attention to whether you have to fast before you get to the lab.

If you are concerned you can drink a cople of glasses of water to up your blood volume about an hour before you go. Dehydration will also make your vein harder to find and more easily "blown"(when you put the needle in and you go right threw the vein as it is "flat" resulting in the inability to draw blood into the tube as there is nothing for the vacuum of the tube to work against)

Keep your arms warm - wear a sweater that you can easily remove to a short sleeved shirt underneath.

Good luck.
Yes, blowing a vein means that the generally push the needle too far and go out the other side, so they can't use it. Normally it also means that, despite pressure, there is at least some bleeding into the surrounding tissue, so it forms a really good bruise. Sometimes it evens bulges a little, making it really sensitive to pressure. Veins on the back of the hand are generally smaller than ones in the arms, so it is easier for the mistake to be made. Also, cold weather can reduce peripheral circulation, and thus vein size in the hands.

That being said, my remicade nurses are fantastic - only had one case in 4 years of remicade where they haven't gotten the vein first shot. If they suspect it's going to happen, they can put a warm towel around your hands to pop up the veins a little better than the tourniquet alone.
My veins are bad because I am generally dehydrated (I am trying to drink more). They always have to use the butterfly and often use a heating pack. Blood draws from the back of the hand are the worst - ow! The guy that did my last IV told me that sometimes they have to take blood from the top of the feet. YIKES! He said that hurts more than the hand.
I haven't personally had to have blood drawn from the foot, but I have had to do it. Not fun, painful for the patient and way easy to blow the vein as they aren't as "sturdy" as the ones in your arm.

If you find blood being drawn painful, there is a numbing cream you can ask your doctor for - I am not sure of the name of it - they use it for kids alot in hospital situations.


You can buy Emla (a numbing cream) over the counter if you're really concerned about the pain. I've never found it painful in my arm or in my hand, but I've always been lucky and had some very skilled nurses draw my blood. Another thing that will help is if you request a pediatric needle, they're a smaller gauge and work the same as adult needles.

My arms are rubbish for veins (they are deep and have a habit of dissapearing). So I always have it done from my hand with a butterfly needle. Still sometimes takes a few staff to get it out though lol. That is totally normal for me :) And I don't go near my GP surgery, always go to the path lab at the Hospital.
I had a really inexperienced resident try to start my IV during my recent hospitalization. Blew a vein in the back of my hand and then painfully and shakily get the job done in my forearm.

A day after surgery my IV came out during sleep. An IV technician came and put in a completely painless (without novocaine) IV. She told me to request an IV technician next time I have to have an IV. Good advice.
I prefer getting it done in the arm than in the hand. Hate having the needle poke around close to all those tiny bones. I've always had blood taken from the same vein in my left arm. I guess I'm just used to it.
I definitely will be asking for cream and a butterfly needle where ever it is done to reduce the chances of pain as much as possible.
I had a Remi infusion today, and there was a lady there (she was quite plump, I don't know if that makes a difference) and the nurse took about half an hour trying to get a canular in her.

She got it in her hand eventually, to try and take some blood, but only got about half a vial out of her. She then had to try her arm again.

What makes it so difficult to get blood out of some people?

I just drink loads and if it's fairly warm my veins pop up all over the place, the nurse even complemented me on my 'lovely vein' the other day.

You've got to take the compliments where you can lol.
Some people have "fragile" veins that just collapse whenever you try to take blood. Some people just have crappy veins when they are sick - no matter what they do.

And, although it is not politically correct, being plump can make it more difficult to find veins as they can be difficult to feel beneath the subcutaneous fat.