sedatives for blood draw?

Danielle - posted on 09/21/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I have a 7 year old daughter with Down syndrome. She has a low functioning thyroid and needs blood drawn every 4 months to monitor her medication. She has EXTREME fear and anxiety about going to the lab. She doesn't understand what we are doing. To get the blood drawn, we have to lay her down on the table, I have to lay on top of her to stabilize her trunk, another person has to stabilize her arm, and a third person draws the blood. She screams and cries and is traumatized. It's traumatizing for me, too.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Has anyone found a short-acting oral sedative or anxiety reducer that works in kids?

HELP!

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Laura - posted on 06/13/2013

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I have the same issue and my daughter has DS and autism and is now 13. It is getting very difficult. We thought we had things going better for awhile, but now we have really gone backwards and restraining her is terrifying, so we have done the best we can to minimize that. Emla cream does nothing to stop her issues. Benadryl could be an option, but she has asthma and that can be drying to her lungs and upset that. She can't tell me what she is feeling, so I am very cautious with things. Nice to know someone is in the same boat! I see this is from year back, so you may not see it. Perhaps you found a solution you can share. :)

Kate CP - posted on 09/22/2010

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My daughter would get hyped up on it when she was about 2. Now it knocks her out and she's four. But, she doesn't have any disorders or health problems so I don't know if it will affect your daughter the same way. Good luck, though!

Danielle - posted on 09/22/2010

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The Dr. told me to give her 25mg of Benadryl. I'm going to give her a trial dose over the weekend to see if it makes her sleepy or hyper. Has anyone had experience with Benadryl making a child sleepy one time and hyper the next, or vice versa?

Danielle - posted on 09/21/2010

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I have found a terrific lab close to our house. The ladies there are great. I go the day before and drop off the paperwork. We go the next morning when it's quiet. They take us in as soon as we get there so her anxiety doesn't build in the waiting room. They are very fast and usually find the vein the first time. But even then, it's horrible. She looks me in the eyes crying saying "Mommy, No!" It makes me cry every time. As soon as we're done she's fine. Literally within 30 seconds after they take the needle out she's smiling and saying "I'm ok".

Iridescent - posted on 09/21/2010

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Also, with regards to the trauma of lab draws, I have gotten to the point of threatening to press charges against staff for torture. Granted this was with over 30 pricks in a matter of an hour, so very extreme, but it's still torture when a procedure causes that much anxiety and restraint. You can push him into ordering an appropriate medication by letting him know restraint is illegal, and doing things with her body against her will (even at age 7) is also illegal, and for her to be able to be compliant you need the medication.

Iridescent - posted on 09/21/2010

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I know they can prescribe anti-anxiety meds for that purpose specifically. They are very often used in the elderly prior to doctor appointments and dental exams, as well as group home residents and older than infant age with handicaps warranting the use. We use EMLA now that we have a port, but the trauma of going in is greater than the pain so we have recently stopped bothering with the EMLA. Keep pushing, as you are within reason.

Danielle - posted on 09/21/2010

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Angie, you are exactly right about the anxiety. She starts getting upset when we pull into the parking lot! It's definitely not the pain; it's the being held still that she hates. I have a call in to the doctor. It's something he doesn't usually do - I've asked before - but now that she's getting bigger it's getting harder.

Angie - posted on 09/21/2010

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At this point, just walking into the building is going to upset her and it's going to take a lot of time and patience for her to lose that anxiety. Check with your doc and see what he/she suggests. Because she's on meds, I wouldn't try anything without a doctors's advice. The EMLA cream is amazing. My son had to have an IV when he cut off the first joint of his finger and was more upset about the IV than the injury so they used EMLA in the ER and he did great. The downside....it takes about :20 to :30 to work and the area has to be covered to keep the cream in place. Most of the time, doctors will not prescribe it but it has to be put on in the office. Good luck. I hope you are able to find an answer that works for you daughter.

Krista - posted on 09/21/2010

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I've never heard of an anxiety medication for this purpose, but there's something called Emla cream that you can use. It numbs the area where they put the needle. Perhaps if your daughter can't feel it she won't be upset? Although, likely, it's not the pain of the needle that's upsetting her. Perhaps you can talk to your doctor about maybe getting a house call to see if that would work?

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2010

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I was going to say the same thing about Phenergan...... it can be a fantastic sedative, but for some kids it makes them worse. But given she has a low functioning thyroid, some sedatives may also affect her medications. Definitely something to talk to your doctor about.

Kate CP - posted on 09/21/2010

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Sometimes Benadryl works but it revs some kids up. Talk to your doctor.

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