Health Tip: Getting Blood Tests

Suggestions to quell your fears

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(HealthDay News) -- For most people, blood draws are not a problem, just a minor inconvenience. For a smaller group, particularly those with physical conditions that make drawing blood more difficult, the procedure can be a nerve-wracking experience.

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry offers these tips to quell any anxiety when having blood drawn:

  • Drinking eight to 10 glasses of liquid a day for a day or two before your test helps blood flow better and makes the veins likely to stick up and easier to find.
  • Applying a moisturizer at least four times a day from the hand to the elbow can make the puncture less painful.
  • Being warm increases your blood circulation, making it easier for the phlebotomist to find a vein. While you are waiting, you may want to leave your coat or sweater on and let your arm dangle down to increase blood pressure in the veins.
  • Recalling, talking about, or listening to something pleasant can help take your mind off your anxiety.
  • If you are nervous or have a tendency to feel woozy or faint, tell the phlebotomist before you begin. Your blood can be drawn while you are lying down.

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