IV Access Getting More Difficult
October 4, 2018 at 12:29 am
I’ve been receiving IVIG every 3.5-5.5 weeks since late December 2016. I used to be an “easy stick” but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to access my veins. They’re bulging out right now, but when it’s IV time they go into hiding.
I’m not interested at this juncture in a port or SCIG.
Are there any good tricks for making my veins alert and ready for the nurse? I get home infusions, so seeing the master phlebotomist at a hospital or infusion center isn’t an option for me.
October 4, 2018 at 8:15 pm
The most effective method is to drink lots of water. Since you are doing home infusions: before the nurse arrives try increasing your body temperature. When your body heats, the blood is pushed towards the surface of the skin, increasing the appearance of veins. One quick trick that works for some is to use a hairdryer on your skin to get the veins to pop.
Try supplements. Agmatine is a supplement that is a by-product of the amino acid Arginine. Agmatine prevents nitric oxide from breaking down in your body, which promotes increased blood flow to your muscles. Enhancing this blood flow can increase your vascularity. A nitric oxide supplement can also help you achieve more prominent veins.
A Port is not required for IVIg. A Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC Line) is a form of intravenous access that can be used for a prolonged period of time (6-12 months) for IVIg. I had a PICC line when I did home IVIg infusions. It worked well for me.
October 4, 2018 at 10:56 pm
Thanks, I hadn’t heard of the hair dryer (I use a heating pad) or the agmatine or nitric oxide. I’ll look into those two supplements.
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