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Taking blood samples and lymphodoema


Re: Taking blood samples and lymphodoema


Hi soxandcinders


Thanks for posting.


You are correct, guidance on reducing the risk of lymphoedema has changed over recent years.


National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) updated the Early and locally advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and management guidelines last year. This section looks at lymphoedema risk. You will see they suggest there is no consistent evidence of increased risk of lymphoedema associated with medical procedures such as blood tests, injections or intravenous medicines. The decision to perform medical procedures using the arm on the treated side should depend on clinical need and the possibility of alternatives.


We appreciate that the final decision whether to use the compromised arm is yours and the updated guidance may help you make this decision.


Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.  


We are currently reviewing our Forum service and wonder if you would have five to 10 minutes to complete a short survey. The survey will help us gather information about this service and understand more about any improvements we can make.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer. This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.


Re: Taking blood samples and lymphodoema

NICE, July 2018, downscaled concerns about blood taking, BP measurement from the “wrong” arm. The evidence isn’t that strong about lymphoedema and ordinary blood tests. Being overweight is now thought to be the only factor with a strong causal link to lymphoedema.

Taking blood samples and lymphodoema

I was diagnosed in 2009 and was told NEVER to have blood taken from my compromised arm. Now it's a nightmare finding a vein. Should I ignore this advice? 10 years on has research debunked this?