Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | December 3, 2010

The Blood Draw

Today I had an appointment  for Amin to have his blood drawn.  He had it before once, they got like  7 or 8 vials of blood from him, and he was OK. I used up like 5 lollipops to keep him still, therefore this time I was not stressing out at all.

He had a good night sleep, he had his favorite breakfast and I put several lollipops in my backpack. We were talking all the way to the clinic.  We had to wait  over 30 minutes to get in, I started to get  a bit uneasy, but as I looked toward him he was very happy playing with all the toys in the waiting room.

Finally they called him in, and he was still completely oblivious about what is going to happen. I tried to tell him that he will feel a little sting, but I will be there to hold him on my lap, yet he still didn’t pay any attention to me. Amin was too busy exploring in the room.

In the mean time I started to second guess myself. Does he really needs these blood tests? Is this test result  going to make any difference? Maybe I should just walk away with him. As I looked at him, I felt this knot in my stomach… I wasn’t sure what to do at this time.  I wanted to pick up my phone and call someone to get advice, but luckily they block all signals in that clinic, so I couldn’t make a complete fool out of myself.

The  laboratory personnel told us to sit down, and she asked me how many people she should get to hold him down.  I told her that it won’t be necessary, I will hold him and talk him through this.  Also, I told her where they got the blood from last time, but after that comment her ego seemed somewhat bruised. She wouldn’t even touch that area. To make a long sad story short, she was unable to get any blood even with others holding him down, and finally I told them enough is enough, she blew two veins, and we left with a huge hematoma on his arms and hand.

I put out a question on the internet to see how others are handling this type of issue. I came to find out that I am not alone having trouble with blood drawing from their autistic child. No, this information didn’t make me at ease, it made me think what can we do to make this experience easier on the kids and the parents as well.

TIP # 1 Find a place where they are used to draw blood from kids. Basically they are experts in this (like children’s hospital).

TIP#2 Get help!  You might be able to do it  alone with the lab tech once or twice, but as your child grows, it will be getting harder and harder on everyone.  In order to prevent  injury , getting assistance from others is always a sensible idea.

Tip#3 When you make the appointment tell them about your child’s condition (autism). Trust me they will get their best  people on board for you, as well as get you in without any waiting. (Ok  there might be an exception to this sometimes)

TIP # 4 If you have access to numbing cream, this is the best time to use it. It helps somewhat to decrease the discomfort, while you make them look away so they don’t get scared. The numbing cream name is EMLA, usually put it on both arms and cover it until they ready to draw the blood.

TIP#5 Someone told me, when they take their child to have this procedure done they give him some herbal sedative. I am not going to write the name of it here, because I do not want people to start sedating their kids.  If you consider something like that, please ask your pediatrician about it.  Please know, even if this is an herbal product, it still can have harmful effects on your child if it is not being used properly.

TIP# 6 Another interesting tip was to use YouTube, look up vein puncture videos, and watch it with your kid and explain it to them. Apparently this really did the trick for a mom.  ( I will be  trying this out for the next time)

Just keep it in mind, ask your ordering physician if that blood test is really necessary. Once you know,  try to see if any of these tips can be utilized, or you might even have a better alternative for your child. If the test is a must, and nothing seems to work, the doctor will order that the child will be sedated to have the blood drawn. I personally want to avoid that by all costs, but there are times when one  doesn’t have a choice.

Remember, do not stress out, be prepared, and know you can do it.  I honestly think that sometimes the parents are more afraid than their kids.

Please if you have any tips for us regarding this subject feel free to comment.



  1. I have a low pain threshold and hated vaccinations for most of my life but I LOOOOVE EMLA cream. I use it every time I get any tests done involving needles. The nurses always insist that they want to draw blood from the middle of my arm (ie the other side of my elbow) and they always remark on how they can see a big vein there but usually they’re unsuccessful in drawing blood from it and it’s much easier for them to draw blood from the hand even though that’s slightly more painful- but easier than being stabbed numerous times without success.

    In my town, there’s more than one place we can get blood tests: our local General Practice surgery nurse or else our local hospital blood clinic nurse. Years of experience has taught us that it is MUCH MUCH better to get blood tests at the local blood clinic cos’ all the nurses do all day is draw blood so they’re very experienced, good at finding veins and they’re the least likely to make mistakes. I think the general practice nurse does many things in the day besides taking blood (cancer smears, vaccinations, other minor medical checks), so she has less experience and practise in drawing blood and therefore has a harder time finding a vein- which means she makes more mistakes. Ever since we’ve realised that, we always go to the blood clinic for our blood tests and rarely have any problems- except for the fact that one of the nurses is annoying and moody, but at least on a professional level they’re good at drawing blood. I’m not sure if that helps but yeah, I’m a big fan of EMLA too.


    • Emla is always a good idea to use with kids I think. I didn’t use it with Amin the first time . This was certainly a very bad experience for us, and I refuse to go back to the same lady again.

  2. loving this blog more and more every day

  3. Hey, what’s going on! I would just like to take the time out of my busy schedule at work here today to say that I just got done reading your blog post and I just wanted to comment on how much I enjoyed reading it. It is my sincere hope for you that everyone else reading you blog that either has commented on it or is just now reading it and waiting to comment on it got as much enjoyment and knowledge out of it as I did. I would like to thank you personally for writing such an informative blog and I can’t wait to check back for more great blog posts. Please tell me you this won’t be your only blog post!

  4. Assalamu Alaikum

    I just wanted to add although my son has only experienced this once tip No 3, was ideal for us although my husband and I were nervous wrecks about it, we did talk to him and showed him pictures first. When we made the appointment we made absolutely sure they were experienced with autistic children. The lab we went to were quite good with him, they talked to him first and showed him the needle, at that moment I thought it was all over before it began when they showed him, but surprisingly alhumdullila he was fine and of course “bismillah’ before they began helped. They where taking out 5 tubes worth which seemed like forever but he was surprisingly calm on my husbands lap whilst I was talking to him, masha Allah.
    I really believe you should do your homework first find a place that have experience with autism.

    Afterward we were so overjoyed on how he handled it, my son had lollypops coming at him from all sides, even from the nurses Alhumdullila.

    • Wswrwb Ahamdulillah you had a great experience. The place I went was an autistic children’s clinic. They were supposed to be experts, and that is what they said. unfortunately I got someone with arrogance. The first time I took him for blood draw I had no problems what so ever. I guess that day was just not meant for us. Inshaallah next time we will be going to the children’s hospital.

  5. man that was a good one..really

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