Who is more likely to have them?
Some patients have veins that move more than others. A high percentage of infants and the elderly often seem to suffer from “rolling veins,” simply because they don’t have as much tissue to anchor the vein as a young adult might.
But young or old or somewhere in between, rolling veins are relatively common.
What should I do if I have rolling veins?
Nurses can usually immobilize a rolling vein by stretching the skin above and below the puncture site, or using a thumb to hold the vein in proper position.
If you’ve been told you have rolling veins, make sure to tell the person inserting the IV that you’ve encountered problems with venipuncture in the past. Do your best to relax; anxiety can cause veins to contract, making it even harder to hit the target.
Remember, every vein can be accessed eventually, and just because this happened once does not mean you will always have rolling veins.
Do you have more questions about IV therapy?