What to know about blood draws when your child is enrolled in a clinical study

What to know about blood draws when your child is enrolled in a clinical study

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Why would my child have blood drawn during a clinical study?

Researchers may need to collect blood samples during a clinical study to get information about a participant's health. If the study involves testing a medication, the study team will look at your child's blood regularly to see how her body is responding, if it's breaking down the medicine, and whether there are side effects.

How often will my child need blood drawn?

The frequency of blood draws depends on the study. In some studies, blood draws aren't necessary. If your child does need blood drawn, the study team will try to keep the number of draws to the minimum needed to collect information for the study and monitor your child's health as dictated by the study protocol. In some cases, your child may be able to have blood drawn through an IV.

Are there risks or side effects to blood draws?

Although they may be uncomfortable, blood draws carry minimal risk. Blood draws in a clinical study are usually no different from those your child might have during a routine medical visit. Make sure your child has eaten recently (unless he needs to be fasting) and is well-hydrated to prevent light-headedness. The poke from the needle usually hurts a little and can cause bruising. If the skin where the needle went in becomes red or inflamed after a blood draw, let your study team know.

How can I help my child deal with the pain and fear of blood draws?

  • Be honest: Let your child know she may feel a pinch or a poke, but the pain won't last, and you'll stay close by. This helps her prepare for the draw and develop coping skills.
  • Bring something from home: Allow your child to take a favorite book, music, video, or toy to the doctor's office to distract him during the blood draw. Or have him squeeze a stress ball.
  • Rehearse at home: Come up with a plan for coping during the blood draw and practice it. This could involve deep breathing (have your child inhale for three seconds and then exhale), counting calmly, and sitting very still. Your child could also practice pretend blood draws on a stuffed animal or doll.
  • Acknowledge your child's feelings: If your child is afraid, tell her "It's okay to be scared" or "I know you're not happy about this test." Let her know that lots of adults are afraid of blood tests too.
  • Give your child some control: Let your child count down before the needle goes in or ask him if he'd like to look away or be distracted when it happens. Allowing your child a say in the process gives him a sense of autonomy over his body.
  • Offer a reward: Make plans with your child to do something fun together after the blood draw. This can help her feel better about the test and serves as a distraction. Praise your child for making it through.

Learn more:

Watch the video: What to Say When Your Patient Requests a Butterfly Needle for the Blood Draw (May 2022).

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