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Vascular Surgery

Extreme difficulty with IV`s

08/21/2007

Question:

I am a 56-year-old type 1 diabetic; diagnosed at age 17. After having undergone frequent blood tests and medical procedures for many years, I am finding it increasingly difficult for medical staff to start an IV on me. It has been years since they were able to start one successfully on the first try, and my last surgery required starting 3 separate IV`s, each rquiring multiple attempts. The first IV failed almost immediately; the second lasted less than 1 day. The third lasted only a few hours and also caused my hand to swell enormously. I am now bruised from my knuckles to above the wrist completely around that hand and arm. My veins are very small and always tend to roll. Please tell me if there is something I can do to improve this situation. My diabetes is in good control and I exercise regularly. Thank you!

Answer:

Unfortunately there is nothing one can do to improve the tone of the veins. Alternating arms for IV placement can help. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated