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Blood test problems
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Blood test problems

My husband has esphageal cancer and recently started chemotherapy.  Because of the tumor in his esphagus, he is having trouble eating and drinking.  As a result he is often dehydrated.  Today when having blood drawn, the tech had trouble finding a vein that would not colapse and said that his blood was thick.  During his subsequent doctor appointment, the nurse said that the blood test were not ready because his blood had clotted before the test could be run.  The doctor dismised the report (stated that is happens one out of every 100 times), ordered fluids and asked to have his blood redrawn.

My questions: What did the tech mean by thick blood? Was the quick clotting due to a problem with my husband's blood or is it probably a "process problem"?  Are any of these problems due to his problem with hydration or chemotherapy?  Should I worry?

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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi.  The fact that your husband has trouble having his blood drawn may be a sign that he is getting seriously dehydrated.  If he really has trouble eating or drinking, he may need to have a PEG tube (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tube) inserted.  This involves temporarily inserting a feeding tube through the abdominal wall and into his stomach, bypassing the esophageal obstruction.  The other options are to give his fluids and nutrition via intravenous route or by inserting a nasogastric tube, but PEG tube insertion is preferable as it's safer, with lesser complications and can be maintained for a prolonged period of time.

The "thick blood" which the tech mentioned probably refers to the fact that your husbands blood has significantly less fluid and is "thicker".  The clotting of the blood may just be a process problem, or it may be a result of the your husband’s having more viscous blood.  
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