I've been starting a new pair of buttonhole sites for the last few days. Last night was the third time in the series of about five or six that it takes of cannulating with sharp needles to form well established tunnels for the blunt needles to go in.
Everything went well. Starting, the treatment itself, closing. Usually with blunt needles it takes barely ten minutes for the sites to stop bleeding. With sharps it often takes longer - about 30-40 minutes. The arterial site however stopped bleeding in ten minutes. I opened the venous fellow a wee bit knowing that this chap behaves rather badly compared to his arterial cousin. Sure enough, the blood was gushing out. I quickly closed the gauze and fastened the tourniquet.
Twenty minutes on, I opened the gauze a little again. Still gushing. Thirty minutes, no sign of stopping! Forty minutes. One hour. Still no sign of stopping. The gush was powerful as well. I might have to drop swimming today, drat!
After one and half hour, the gush was still powerful. By now I was perplexed. What the hell was happening? Why isn't the blood stopping? I wondered if too much heparin might have been used. That did not explain it because the arterial site had stopped long back!
Two and half hours had passed. I opened to check. Still bleeding but thankfully, the force was less. At least we're in the right direction!
It took about three hours fifteen minutes for the blood to stop. I finally removed the tourniquet and the gauze piece and watched closely for about five minutes before deciding that yes, the blood had stopped!
Never in the past six years of home hemo has the blood taken so long to stop - type of needle notwithstanding.
Now I need to decide whether to continue to use the site that troubled me this morning or disband it and start afresh with another site.