Numbness in hands and face

by Lolita

I went to the ER for really bad abdomen pain about a month ago. The nurse took a long time finding a vein, and after she set up IV, I started to experience numbness in hand which traveled to feet and then my face swelled up. This lasted almost an hour. I was not able to speak, and when the doctor did ask me questions, I struggled to utter anything, and words came out muffled as if my mouth could not move in the right direction.

I was not sure what caused this, and was terrified! Another nurse suggested this was caused by a damaged nerve while drawing blood.

Yesterday I had another episode with my abdomen hurting really badly, and I tried to sit down and wait to see if it got better.

Then the numbness in my hands and face returned....this time only lasted about ten minutes but still was scary. Tingling was also present. I sat at the table and wanted to dial 911, but could not grab the phone as I had no control of my hands at all. I am 32 years old in fairly good health with some thyroid problems.

Help please if you know what this is.

Hello Lolita,
I very much doubt that the needle per se would have caused all these symptoms; the hand, yes, possibly if she hit the median nerve, but not your face and legs.

Was there any medication in the drip? That certainly could produce all this.

My advice is to see a neurologist; this is potentially serious and needs further investigation. Ask also for a parathyroid gland test; a drop in calcium levels causes numbness in the face. If it happens again, note precisely which fingers are affected. Is there a change of colour in the hands?

Have you ever fainted or felt really bad when having needles stuck into you or blood drawn?

What came of the investigation of your abdominal pain? That too needs to be followed up as it's still occurring.

If you are constipated, starting eating stewed prunes and beetroot daily. And a salad and more fruit. But that abdominal pain could be from a host of things.

Not sure, Lolita. Let me know when you have the neurologist's report.

Dr B

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