Collapsed Veins From Frequent Blood Draws

Dear Ask The Doctor:  I have horrible trouble with my veins and due to several health issues I get iv's and blood drawn more than the average woman. Many times while trying to put an iv in they had said that my "vein blew". Yesterday I was trying to give blood and they only found one okay vein and while trying to get the blood out of it my blood clotted up before the blood even got halfway to the bag. Is this because of my previous blown veins that they can't find veins on me anymore? It has been 5 months since I had blown veins last. If the veins do heal how long does that take?

Dear Patient:  Thank you for your question.  This is a common situation we see in individuals requiring frequent blood work.
When veins are accessed frequently, they have a tendency to collapse and make future blood draws difficult.  When they do collapse, the body uses deepressed veins to get the blood back to the heart.  From a health point of view, there is no negative consequences to collapsed surface veins, it just makes drawing blood difficult.
The collapsed veins rarely return as blood is shunted to other deeper veins.

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