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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

What`s causing post blood tests pain?

06/17/2009

Question:

Hi. I went to the hospital on 6/6/09 because my heart felt like it was vibrating and beating too quickly after I stopped working out. The nurse took several blood tests in my arm and then injected me with saline and put in the IV tube but with no medicine. She said it was in case the dr wanted to give me medicine. It was extremly uncomfortable and I asked her to take it out. When she did she said wow your turning blue already and my arm was hurting a lot. The following day I saw a tremendous bruise but had no pain. Then on 6/12/09 while laying in bed at night I started getting horrible pain in my right ring finger nail (the same arm with the bruise from the blood tests). On Saturday the pain moved from the fingertip and fingernail down my hand and my forearm started getting this weird sunburn sensation, but nothing was swollen or red. By night the sunburn sensation reached my upper arm. Then it stopped the next day 6/13/09. However the pain in my ring finger is still there. It has never been and is not constant. More like spasms. It feels like someone has taken a blood test from my finger. Its a bad pain and then today after taking advil for the pain it moved into my middle finger. The sunburn sensations have definitly gotten better. I also felt a weird itchy feeling inside where the bruise is. Do you think this is damage from the hospital blood tests bruise??? Can it be a clot??? I have seen an internal medicine dr today who said he thinks I have a pinched nerve in the neck but I find it hard to believe since I never had this before the blood tests and I still have a bruise. I am really scared something is very wrong and all the dr said is to try a contour pillow and come back for hand conductivity test if it doesnt work. I hope you will respond. These sensations I feel are very strange and uncomfortable Thanks.

Answer:

While you can get small blood clots after blood is drawn from a vein, the symptoms you are describing really do not sound like typical symptoms that would be related to the blood clot. You did the correct thing by seeing your doctor to get checked out. Any local pain at the blood draw site might improve by using hot compresses to the site. Even if there was a small clot at the blood draw site, this and using ibuprofen would be the only measures that I would recommend. If it doesn't improve, go back and see your physician.

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Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University