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Had blood drawn. Feeling burning pain below site and red rashes appeared. Should I visit ER?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2015 Questions
I had blood drawn last Friday. Sunday I felt a burning pain about three inches below the site. There is now a faint red rash in the same area as the I need to see a doctor...what could cause this?
Posted Fri, 1 Mar 2013 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 22 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
Some people develop irritant reaction to alcohol swab used to clean the area prior to drawing blood or to the adhesive in the tape applied after drawing blood. Sometimes rash may also develop due to the way needle has been introduced in the vein and how forcefully it has been drawn out.
In your case too, it seems you have developed a rash due to any of this cause. Apply a steroid cream like fluticasone or hydrocortisone over the rash and if its too painful, you may take a painkiller for few days.
Hope that answers your query.
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Follow-up: Had blood drawn. Feeling burning pain below site and red rashes appeared. Should I visit ER? 9 hours later
I am having trouble straightening my arm without having a burning sensation--any possibility of nerve damage?
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 2 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
Had it been a localised area of burning and rash, we could have still thought of irritant reaction as I mentioned earlier as the cause. But as you are having severe pain while straightening or moving your arm then it could be due to
1)formation of haematoma which might cause impingement of nerves causing pain. This haematoma forms when the needle punctures through the vein leading to spilling of blood in deeper tissue. This haematoma may manifest externally as bruise or purple red rash.
2)Damage to nerves, tendons etc.( usually unlikely as blood is drawn from superficial vessels but should be ruled out. When needle touches the nerves during blood draw it usually produces a very sharp shooting pain)

I would advise you to XXXXXXX a doctor near by to rule out any injury to underlying deeper structures( arteries, tendon nerves) that may manifest as pain.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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