"A bad blood test"

About: GPs in the O'Connor Electoral District PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA

(as the patient),

I was called in to get my blood test done recently. The staff member who did this has never been able to take my blood, as I have deep veins, but recently they said they could do it for me now, as they were more experienced. They proceeded to tell me I should drink lots of water (which I already had) as they tried my right arm and put the needle in, to no avail; they couldn't get the blood to flow. They pulled the needle out and it hurt like crazy. So then they popped tape on that arm and proceeded to try the left arm. After trying that arm and telling me to relax (which I had), they pushed the needle in and still couldn't get a vein, so they pulled that out and I yelled because it hurt again. They told me I had moved which I hadn't! I said I wasn't coming back ever and they told me that was good.

When I went to the pathology department of the clinic, I told the staff member there who said I should lodge a complaint to PathWest, so here I am doing that right now.

Another staff member did my blood test in about 2 minutes flat with the computer work as well; thank goodness for that!

Responses

Response from Tracy Dixon, A/General Manager, QEII Network, PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA

picture of Tracy Dixon

Dear waterfh93

Thank you for taking the time to write of your recent experience whilst attending one of our collection centres.

I am disappointed to hear that you suffered the pain and stress associated with repeated attempts to collect your blood, and I would like to apologise for the manner in which you were treated following this experience.

At PathWest we take pride that our phlebotomists are highly trained and skilled in venepuncture techniques, and I am troubled by your experience.

Could you please contact me on telephone 08 6457 3169 to provide some specific details so that we can investigate further and, if appropriate, provide further training to the staff member concerned.

I am grateful for your feedback and would like to reassure you that it will be used to improve our services.

Kind regards,

Tracy Dixon

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