A guide to taking your child to a blood extraction

As parents, nothing is more important in life than the health and safety of our children. That is why all parents will eventually have to bring their kids to a doctor’s clinic, and if necessary, to get a blood test or a vaccine.    

One study from Harvard Health found that 25% of adults are afraid of needles, and that percentage is surely higher for young kids. For children, getting injected is a very unpleasant, painful, but very necessary procedure in order for doctors to monitor the health of a child in his/her vital growing years. That is why Hi-Precision Diagnostics has made this comprehensive guide on what to expect, what to prepare, and what to do when your child needs to take a blood test. 

High-Quality Service for All

As one of Cebu’s premier healthcare providers, Hi-Precision Diagnostics ensures top-notch convenience for all its patients, regardless of age. For one, Hi-Precision Diagnostics is Cebu’s one-stop shot for complete medical testing, offering thousands of blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and a CT Scan in its Cebu Main branch. All Hi-Precision phlebotomists are trained to be able to administer blood extractions in only one shot, to ensure the convenience of patients. And if, as a parent, you are unsure about taking your child to the laboratory, you can book a home service appointment through landline, Viber, cellphone, or Facebook. 

One of Hi-Precision Diagnostics’ go-to home service phlebotomists for kids is Sir Kyle, with over 8 years of experience with all kinds of patients from a 5-day-old baby to senior citizens. According to him, the hardest part of extracting from children is that they are unpredictable when reacting to pain, even if they seem cooperative at first  . “[Young kids] really have a fear of the unknown. [Especially if] wa sad kaila.” 

“For example, naay mga boys nga nahadluk sa needle. Naa silay fear, pero magpaisog-isog ‘na. Nagpa-strong kunohay nga murag ‘Wala na oi.’ So tendency sa bata is ninghadluk, unya mo-switch ang emotions during pag-insert sa needle.   Didto na siya murag na-pass out.” Because of this, blood extraction for kids can often be very tense on the side of the medical worker.  “Very important jud kay crucial kaayo ang paghandle sa kids kay ang hematoma or bruising is dako siyag chance tungod sa movement sa bata. Basin ma-slip, nya usahay ma-igo na sa muscles nya mulagum jud siya.” Therefore, it is vital for parents to be cooperative and not add additional stress to the staff in this already tense situation.

For Infants (0-1 years old) 

“Para nako, explain lang jud ko sa parents unsa jud kaimportante nga mu-cooperate sa babies, especially nga lisod pangitaon ang veins then gamay pa kaayo ilang bukton.” As a phlebotomist, Sir Kyle says that locating the ideal blood vein is the first step in extracting blood, and with babies that presents a unique challenge. “Their veins are almost hairlike, so lisod gud pangitaon ang veins. So basta cooperative lang jud ang parents or SO nga mu-handle, mas madali gyod na siya.” 

The main way parents or helpers can assist is by firmly holding the baby to prevent any sudden movements. “Ideally, I need two to three adults to support. One to hold onto the baby from the back and one person to hold the hand, para secured na sa kamot. And another one nalang siguro , is mukupot sa feet to prevent kicking. For home service, ang need nako kay table ra kay pahigdaon nato siya sa iyahang lampin para secure iya kamot nya ti-il niya.” 

After extraction, parents must not forget to press gently on the area of extraction for 2-3 minutes to prevent bruising or further bleeding. Applying cold compress or ice for 2-3 minutes can also help, but not for too long as a baby’s skin is quite sensitive. In these situations,  Sir Kyle assures that infants crying is an unavoidable part of the procedure.  “Ako, as a healthcare professional, dili ko kasaad nga dili muhilak ang bata. Kay muhilak jud na siya. Ako lang i-saad as much as possible i-dali ang procedure with one shot. Naa juy chance of failure in terms of pagkuha jud sa bata. If we consent jud sa mother, if ever fail at first, we consent sa parent nga pakuhaan jud gihapon nila. 

For Toddlers (1-4 years old) 

“As for toddlers, mas strong, ma-fight na jud sila, especially if it’s their first time. As in, they tend to kick jud.” Sir Kyle says. “Kelangan jud silag kuptanan.” Much like with infants, the phlebotomist really stresses that parents or helpers must firmly hold down the limbs and body of the toddler to prevent resistance. 

Can toys or gadgets help toddlers be less restless during the injection process? “Yes and no. Gadget can be used as somewhere to look para di siya motan-aw sa needle. Pang-aliw lang sa bata, while I find the veins. Maka-help siya somewhat gamay, but not always.” If anything, gadgets or toys can be used as a reward for after the procedure. 

Schooled Aged Children (5-12 years old) 

For school-aged children who are 4 years old and above, building trust and communication is key for a smooth and easy extraction. “Pag school age, mas istoryaan na. They tend to listen directly jud sa akoa. In a calm way, pag-explain ko sa bata nga murag kid to kid.  Dili ko higher than them.  I comfort them by saying ‘Ing-ani ra, fast ra jud ni. After this, done na ta. Maka-feel ka og pain pero little lang jud siya nga pain.’” 

Most kids at school age already have had blood extractions in the past, so family members and parents are encouraged to remain positive and supportive for their kids. “Ay lang siyag hadloka’g samot. Dapat support lang gyod. Kay naay uban nga kids nga hadlokon sa parents or mga igsoon niya, murag ‘Hala, sakit na kaayo na.’” There are also instances when parents get angry or frustrated at the child when/he is uncooperative or begins to resist. This is a behavior that parents should not do, as it will add more tension to the healthcare staff in an already tense situation and make the procedure more difficult. “Maghatag siyag tension sakoa. As much as possible, when it comes to mga parents og igsoon, need jud ko og support sa pagpakalma sa bata.” During high emotion situations, cooler heads always prevail in these types of situations.

Final Reminders

No matter what life stage you are in, your health should be your top-priority, and regular testing allows you and your kids to monitor your wellbeing and detect any potential illnesses for early and effective treatment. With staff like Sir Kyle on board, Hi-Precision ensures that your health, and your children’s health, are in good hands. 

Hi-Precision Diagnostics Cebu is your one-stop-shop for all your medical testing needs. For more advice on bringing your kids to a laboratory, consult your doctor or contact Hi-Precision Diagnostics.  To book a home service, call us at landline (888 2222), Viber/cellphone (0917 770 3638), or contact our Facebook page. 

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