Please be careful with my veins

Attention: To the nurse or phlebotomist about to start an iv or draw blood on me.

Someday, I may need hemodialysis. That is best performed through an A-V fistula. The fistula lasts longer than the other types of access, has a lower incidence of infection, and does not have a higher incidence of clotting with erythropoetin stimulating agents (Procrit® Aranesp®). However, it takes months to mature.

If I develop phlebitis or scars in my veins, the surgeons may never be able to create a sucessful fistula on me.

Therefore, if you need blood, or need to start an iv, here is the dorsum (back) of my hand. If you must stick me several times, please rotate the sites.

Especially, stay away from the cephalic vein of my non-dominant hand (the entire hand, especially my wrist-radial cephalic). (I usually wear my wristwatch on my non-dominant hand).

I am trying to exercise to make my veins bigger.

Remember, many of the iv solutions that you are about to give me may be very irritating to my veins.

Try to minimize needle sticks. If you need blood and an iv infusion, get both at the same time. If you must draw blood or give me injections, please use a #23 needle. For more information see NKF-DOQI Guideline 7 or FistulaFirst.

A public service announcement from The Nephron Information Center. Please feel free to print and show to your nurse or phlebotomist.

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