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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18667
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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When blood is drawn for a BAC is there a difference in the

Customer Question

When blood is drawn for a BAC is there a difference in the results when it is taken from the arm muscle and not directly from the vein?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 11 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

Could you clarify what you mean?
We do not and cannot truly draw blood from a muscle.

If you describe the situation, then I may be better able to understand what information you are seeking.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Blood was drawn from my arm for a blood alcohol test.
I watched the doctor insert the needle not in my vein but 1cm to the side of it where I have video and photos of the bruise.
Blood was actually taken but whenever I have had given blood before it's always taken directly from the vein.
Can inserting the needle in the wrong position influence the lab results?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 11 months ago.

If they withdrew blood from this location, then it would still likely have been a vein, although a smaller vein than the vein that is usually stuck.

Usually, if the needle is inserted into a muscle or other structure near a vein, then no fluid is obtained, or at most, only a small amount of fluid. This small amount of fluid would typically be clear and either colorless or slightly yellow in color.

If the tube filled with blood, then they must have been in some sort of a vascular structure. It would typically be a vein, although sticking an artery can also yield blood. For blood drawn from any vascular structure, the BAC would generally be accurate.

If the needle was partly inside a vein and partly outside a vein, then the blood may have gotten diluted with a small amount of the clear fluid noted above, which may also dilute any lab tests. But the small amount of fluid would usually only make a small difference in the BAC.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.