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Typically, a blood draw for laboratory tests is simple and mostly free of pain. For some individuals, however, venipuncture can be difficult due to small veins. Veins that are scarred can also be difficult to puncture, often necessitating several needle sticks before the phlebotomist is successful.
Don't hesitate to share your experiences with the phlebotomist taking your blood sample. If you have had better success with certain puncture spots, techniques or needles, share that with the technician. Also, be sure to stay calm and work together with the phlebotomist even if you are flustered by several unsuccessful needle sticks.
Finally, the book Caregiving offers additional suggestions that are meant for cancer patients, but can be helpful for anyone with difficult veins.
Numbing Creams- Products are available to numb the skin, making unsuccessful punctures less painful.
Finger-Stick Tests- Many large medical centers offer these.
Catheters and Ports- These are sometimes available for those who need frequent blood draws for laboratory blood tests.