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IV saline/ vein access problems


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I feel like I'm being a pain to you guys these past couple of days. Not that ANY of you has made me feel that way but I feel like I shouldn't be posting and complaining when I know many of you are also struggling right now and don't have any extra energy.

Well....I crashed big time Wednesday evening. I had constant, very high tachycardia but I refused to go to the ER because the home health nurse was scheduled to come Thursday. I suffered through Wednesday night and then when the nurse came on Thursday she tried 3 times (in 3 different veins) to get the IV Saline started and each time my veins blew and were infiltrated. So... she wasn't able to get access. Long story short the home health company has not been treating me right or doing their job in my opinion. For example, when this happened she just said, "Well, I can't get it so I guess I'll see you next month" I told her she needed to call my Dr and find out what they wanted her to do. Which she did reluctantly. He wasn't in and she didn't bother to tell the person that answered that she was a nurse with a patient of his. I could go on (like I said...long story). The end result is that my Dr is saying if nurses couldn't access a line then he most likely won't be able to either and that I should just lay down and drink lots and lots of fluids. If it becomes unbearable then go to the ER where there is an IV team otherwise, hold on for two weeks until my appt at Vandy. (Which at this point will be difficult to travel to but I'll find a way to make it).

Oh, and for those who wonder....my Dr, at this point, does not want to put in a PIC line because of the issue of my pacemaker and risk of infection ...yada yada yada. (I'm not saying I totally disagree but I feel like I keep running into brick walls).

Like I said, I know many of us are miserable right now so I feel guilty and at the same time I need to vent and I know you guys allow me to do that (THANK YOU) and I also know you understand so it helps me feel supported.

Between this and the disability insurance issues I'm having it's about to push me over the edge. Just breathe, right???

I do not like this here nor there

I do not like it anywhere :)

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Sorry youre having such a difficult time! Sounds frustrating!

I really hope that your trip to Vanderbilt will be helpful for you.

Hope you have some better days ahead,


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I'm sorry that you're going through such a rough time right now. You're right that the Home Health Nurse isn't doing her job and you should probably talk with her manager. Furthermore she shouldn't have hesitated to call the doc and tell him what was going on and if he wasn't in then she should've been talking to whoever was on call.

Maybe the reason she couldn't get the line going was because you are so severely dehydrated in which case I doubt trying to catch up by drinking water is going to cut it.

I get IV saline PRN and I know that especially when I've had a really heavy menstrual cycle my blood pressure drops to the low 80's and has been as low as 60, the only way I can stay off the floor is if I get the IV saline, otherwise it can take me at least a week of drinking water to catch up.

Hang in there and don't hesitate to go to the ER especially if you're tachycardiac too.

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Hi Ernie!

Yes, she did try three different veins and in different arms as well.

I may end up going to ER for IV fluids and this may not make sense to anyone but I'm so fed up and exhausted with the whole ordeal that I just don't want to deal with the ER right now. I will give it a day or so and then when I have some fight in me again I will go to the ER if I'm still this tachy.

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Guest Finrussak

This wont help until next time but whenever the home nurse tries to find my son's veins ( he is always UNDER hydrated stubborn child) she has him run his hands from just below elbows,under very warm water and then droop then down a few minutes,while he lies on the couch, to expand the veins...this also makes good veins more visible so she can choose one that wont be likely to blow.of course if very dehydrated and this wont help.

Also know that if you are nutritionally at risk lately it can make for fragile blood vessels so try to get good foods into you, plus supplements so you are at your best ( or as can be) for your trip!!! Vit C is especially important for collagen and blood vessel fragility.

and when I was teaching pre-meds and nursing students, the gals running the clinical labs told me that "blowing" a vein is more likely due to the methods of the person doing it NOT "bad veins"...that if they nick the inside of the vessel by not inserting the first needle and/or the plastic flexitube right, the vein will burst.

the same for blood tests...going thru the back of a vein or nicking inside layer causes those bruises and blowing out/infiltration!!! [ of course this doesnt apply to very ill or frail or elderly]

I agree about reporting to the manager at the home health agency...our nurse is an angel and really knows her stuff...but she also tells us that IF we ever have any probs to call agency as there are a LOT of less than qualified nurses there who cant find work otherwise!!!

PLease dont hesitate about ER...I know how bad the trip is and what a pain to lie there hoping they dont do more harm then good, explaining to everyone what wont help etc... ( in the past 2 yrs I have made the trip over 20 times!!!...I now know the paramedics...and if my son wasnt a volunteer member of local EMT squad and paid member in the 2 neighboring towns Im sure they wouldnt have named 1 of the rigs after me...well, maybe they wouldve anyway :lol: )

take care.....

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No worries about venting...you've had one HECK of a past few months...and anyone would be frustrated.

Sometimes it doesn't matter WHAT it is...it's just one more darn thing to deal with you and you kinda feel like you can't take another thing! I understand your not wanting to go to the ER and deal with the hassle. I've done that many a time. Still, it may be a good idea simply b/c you REALLY need your strenght to make your big trip...

As for home health care...ugh...I had a hard time with them too. They were not very careful with my PICC line and things like that--long story--but it was frustrating, b/c I thought it would be so much easier to have IVs at home than having to go to the l'hopital 3x a week, but it was really tough...

Nurses have a very hard time getting my crummy veins too and stab me a lot too! But, I can't believe she just gave up! Usually, they can get one in my elbow (where I have ONE decent vein)...

Sorry, I'm grumpy too...so I'm probably not much help! My PCPs office called to tell me that they had cancelled my appt. b/c they didn't need to see me and there wasn't anything they could do to help me. They made this decision WITHOUT consulting me. Nevermind that I had just spoken to my POTS specialist on the phone yesterday and had a zillion things I needed taken care of locally...I was sooo mad and it ruined my whole day not to mention sent me into majore symptom flare.

Turns out they are 'overbooked and understaffed' and had too many 30 minute appts. scheduled today. So they didn't have enough 'open' appts. for 'acute care' patients--so to make room in the schedule they cancelled my appt!

I called and was so mad, the nurse transferred me to my PCP and I ended up getting to talk to him personally, but it just shouldn't have gone the way it did and I just can't believe they can just cancel your appts. FOR YOU????

Okay, Pooh, I am soooo sorry...This turned into a vent all about ME and I amsupposed to be responding to you. Ugh...

I'd better go to bed and hope to wake up with a bit better perspective tomorrow morning, eh?????

Sending you HUGS! AND better veins! :lol:


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Hi Pooh,

I understand the feeling of not wanting to go to the ER. Whenever I go to the ER it is because other people call the ambulance because I would not make the decision myself. I hate it so much. I am starting to accept a bit more now that I have my ER protocol and that doctors believe me. I feel to relieved when I get my IV and can stand a few minutes without fainting.

I hope you can get back to your baseline without going to the ER.

I will be thinking of you.

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Finrussak, I actually did part of what you were talking about. I took a bath this morning to warm up and get my blood flowing and then I applied moist heat 20 minutes prior to the nurse coming and they just would not pump up at all.

I will try to eat a bit healthier and try the vitamins and see if that helps. Thanks for the suggestions!!

Em, I know exactly what you mean and how upsetting having cancelled appointments can be! Yup, the home health nurse has not been as easy as I had hoped it would be. I have had nothing but trouble with the company and the nurse has lied to me several times. I have already talked to the Manager twice and it's not really doing any good. Why do we have to spend our valuable energy dealing with paperwork and *#$( like this??? We deserve better. Em, hang in there. Did they reschedule your appt?

Since Finrussak brought this up, I will also say that I thought I was being paranoid because I really thought the nurse had done this on purpose. Now granted, I have difficult veins but the second time she was in there and the line was dripping good and then she pulled the needle partially back out and that's when we had a problem. Then she said, "yeah, I figured this was going to happen. Oh well". You hate to accuse someone of that and I would have no way to prove it so why bother reporting her. Especially when I can tell the agency is trying to get rid of me.

Ernie, thanks for your encouragement and support!

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