What is a Rolling Vein?
Perhaps this has happened to you: you’re sitting there, patiently waiting for a nurse or technician to draw blood or start an IV, and they can’t quite hit the vein. They try again. And again. Then they explain that you have “rolling veins,” which can make it difficult to place the needle.
What are rolling veins?
It’s not a medical diagnosis, a scientific term or even a physical condition. It’s simply a description some medical professionals use for a vein that doesn’t easily yield to a needle-stick.
The goal of venipuncture is to visualize a vein and push the needle through the skin and the vein wall, so the needle ends up in the center of the vein. Sometimes, though, the needle enters the skin just to the side of vein, causing it to push – or “roll” – to one side.
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?
Just stop with the rolling veins – http://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/just-stop-with-1077263.html
The medical dictionary – https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/rolling+vein
Prevent a Rolling Vein When Starting an IV or Drawing Blood – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbG_1-_mnoo