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MRI fail

MRI fail

Posted by Buffythevampire on Dec 6, 2018 10:49 pm

I was supposed to have a MRI today, but after 6 failed attempts to find a vein for the intravenous dye they sent me home. Is this unusual? Any suggestions for the next appointment? 

Re: MRI fail

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 7, 2018 7:32 am

Hi, Buffythevampire‍ , gee, you’d think with your CC name, it would be easy to find your veins!

Seriously, though, I am sorry to hear this happened to you. I’m not at all good with needles, so that must have been awful for you! The only thing I can think of is that you make sure to stay well hydrated for the few days before the next one. That might make your system more responsive to opening up.

I take it more than one technician tried to get the dye into you. 

Re: MRI fail/how to make finding veins easier

Posted by Arkygirl on Dec 7, 2018 9:14 am

Hi Buffy,

Apparently, I have tiny and deeply buried veins. Just a thing. Nothing else about me is tiny.
After many fails at getting simple blood tests, I was advised by an experienced technician to avoid all caffeine the night before and the day of any attempt to find a vein. Also, to drink plenty of water. To keep drinking even if I felt full. The caffeine restricts the blood vessels and makes them harder to find in someone like me. 

Also, they put a hot towel or a heating pad on the area to make the vessels easier to find. I hope that this advice helps.

Re: MRI fail/don't need contrast dye

Posted by Arkygirl on Dec 7, 2018 9:19 am

Also, my husband is allergic to the contrast dye they use in MRIs. But, they can still do the tests on him. It's just a little harder to read. So, no dye is better than no MRI at all! They should have proceeded regardless. Call your oncologist and tell them what happened and get them to order another test without the dye if they can't find a vein next time.

Try deep breathing excercises and calm yourself while they are inserting the needle. Relaxing all your muscles can help with finding a vein, too.

Re: MRI fail

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Dec 7, 2018 11:02 am

Wow. I feel your shock. For the first time in six months of continuous jabs, pokes and IV's, Stabdula the Butcher couldn't find a vein last Friday. Well I shouldn't say couldn't find. She couldn't get them to flow. Six tries... I looked like a pin cushion. Protocol required she had to ask my permission to proceed after five tries. Needless to say I want this life giving drug so "Yes carry on." She had no one else in the office to call on so she forged onward.

One of the things that happens is that as the nurse struggles her self confidence goes down. So we both took a deep breath. She warmed my arm and said a little prayer to the IV gods and in it went. I wish I had the words to her prayer.

Hydration. Warming. Relaxing. All good tips.

But sometimes it takes that little prayer to the IV gods!


Re: MRI fail

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Dec 7, 2018 11:14 am

Buffythevampire‍ - How frustrating for you and uncomfortable.

I hope some of the tips above help. Have you had this problem before?

When is the next try?


Re: MRI fail

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 7, 2018 3:15 pm

“Stabdula the Butcher” - laughlaugh

Re: MRI fail

Posted by Buffythevampire on Dec 7, 2018 5:56 pm

I have to get my blood tested for a prescription I take and the nurses always say I am dehydrated. But apparently it's a different type of vein to insert an IV. They tried warming up both arms but no luck. I got 3 needles in each arm. I have a new MRI appointment scheduled for next week.I am not drinking any coffee/tea until after my appointment. I am going to drink lots of water and eat watery foods (like soup and watermelon). I even bought something called "Hydralyte" that is supposed to replenish fluids/electrolytes after vomiting or diarrhea. They are giving extra time for the appointment plus will have a Radiologist who can use an ultrasound if needed. I am hoping to hydrate myself and hopefully the first needle works. Strangely when I had my surgery on October 30th and needed an IV to put me to sleep, they only had to poke me once. Crossing fingers this time.

Re: MRI fail

Posted by Jlo on Dec 7, 2018 7:55 pm

Dear Buffy:

I have a similar problem but they always find a vein in the end.  I drink twice as much liquid for the test as they tell me.  In your case I would suggest more.  I warn the technicians in advance that I have small veins before they start.  I warm up both arms with a magic bag all the way to the hospital, before the test.  The last time, the nurse warmed up one arm for 10-15 minutes  at the hospital and it worked, after being poked several times.   Some nurses/technicians are just better than others with this situation.  If you are just starting treatment, you may need a port.  Best of luck.  Joan