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Thread: WHY is injecting into an artery dangerous? How does it work?

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    WHY is injecting into an artery dangerous? How does it work? 
    #1
    Greenlighter
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    I understand that accidentally shooting heroin into an artery can cause horrible things to happen, including gangrene that necessitates amputation. But I don't understand HOW--what is the mechanism of action that causes complications?

    I saw a friend hit an artery earlier tonight--he said he could feel the junk flowing toward his hand, and how it felt like every cell in his hand was screaming in pain. Many people post that it takes hours for their swelling to go down, but he didn't experience any measurable swelling, and the pain subsided in less than three or four minutes.

    Based on the fact that there is no swelling and that the pain died so quickly, he doesn't expect to go to the ER unless things get worse, but he would like to have a more detailed understanding of exactly what might happen in his arm after his artery hit, so that he can make an informed decision about whether to run to the ER or not. Can anybody help, or point me toward somewhere else that will?
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    #2
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    Intra-arterial injection leads to a really high local concentration of the injected drug in the tissue that is perfused by the artery in question.

    When substances are injected intravenously, they first pass through the heart and lungs and are diluted by mixing in the whole circulating blood volume before they end up in the tissues.
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    #3
    Bluelight Crew ebola?'s Avatar
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    Here is a good primer:

    http://www.heroinhelper.com/user/adm...s_part_1.shtml

    This question is of basic physiology, so I'mma shoot it over to OD.

    ebola
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    #4
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    Many of us have accidentally hit in an artery and this did not necessitate a trip to the ER.

    Veins carry blood to the heart, arteries carry blood away from the heart. Vein blood is dark blood while arterial blood is BRIGHT red. If you hit an artery using dope that does not obscure your view into the body of the syringe, it will bloom a bright red, while vein blood is much darker and more purplish.

    Beyond that, I can't be of much help as I do not know the exact "mechanism of action."
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    #5
    Bluelighter Nagelfar's Avatar
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    Anywhere you hit (except near the brain itself, which is potentially fatal) in an artery leads away from the brain and to the end of your extremities. e.g. if you shoot into an artery in your arm, you are sending the drug to your finger tips, and not to your brain; the drug is distributed amongst the cells in your hand then, and its a substance that burns in an IV miss, it's going to feel like molten lead is being poured down your arm in an IA hit.
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    #6
    ive always wondered if anyone has ever hit the coradid(sp) artery and what happened to them
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    #7
    Coradid artery? WTF is that?

    Carotid ?

    I guess you will die if you inject a lot. Your neck would swell and you'd suffocate. If you inject a little, you might live.
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    #8
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    In the so called Wada test, a barbiturate is injected to one carotid artery to make only one hemisphere of the brain fall unconscious...
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    #9
    Bluelighter HdoubleODeezy's Avatar
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    ^ that's interesting.
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    #10
    yea i spelled it wrong JEEBUS!!?
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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HdoubleODeezy View Post
    ^ that's interesting.
    Very interesting. I've always wondered about how in hemispherectomies one side of the brain can take over the function of the other, and if one was able to 'change the sleep cycles' of either hemisphere of the brain, and put the other to sleep alternatingly, so to always be awake / creating two different "personalities" that diverge from that point. Learn to live by leaving notes for oneself, etc. :-P (maybe that's the hidden premise behind the Christian Bale movie 'The Machinist' ;p)
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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HYDRO_CHRONIC View Post
    ive always wondered if anyone has ever hit the coradid(sp) artery and what happened to them
    I have seen a chick on Intervention that constantly banged in her neck vein. Tracks on the neck are NOT a good look. It was pretty obvious what they were, and the looks of horror and disgust from other people kinda said it all. Fixing in your neck 'cause you have ran through all your other reachable veins at the age of 21 means maybe you should lay it down.
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    #13
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    i think that injecting into an atery causes blood clots, preventing blood flow leading to certain areas espeially extremities and can cause gangrene wich can end up in amputation
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    #14
    Bluelight Crew muvolution's Avatar
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    An artery shot of even a USP pharmaceutical solution would cause extreme pain, loss of sensation, swelling, etc... but it will go down and you will live.
    the real danger comes when shooting street drugs. Because most of us filter through cotton, many small insolublle particles can enter the bloodstream. Usually, in a venous shot, they travel back to the lungs and are filtered out there, wwhich is terrible for you in the long run, but something the body can cope with in the short term. In an arterial shot, they travel out into the capillaries of the area served by the artery, they become lodged in these fine blood vessels causing tissue necrosis leading to various problems.

    I would highly suggest using micron filters.
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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatass View Post
    i think that injecting into an atery causes blood clots,
    BINGO!

    I have inadvertently shot up in arteries many a time and lived to tell the tale. But I might of been lucky...
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    #16
    What I'm wondering is why no one mentioned the other major symptoms of hitting an artery. What about the pounding headache slight fever, and major elevated pulse? Every time I've accidentally hit an artery it wasn't the burning and swelling that scared me the most, I thought I was going to have a heart attack or stroke from the pounding in my head. My guess is that your body is attacking an intruder because you are injecting something dirty into a system that is supposed to be very clean. Any thoughts on that?
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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebola? View Post
    Here is a good primer:

    http://www.heroinhelper.com/user/adm...s_part_1.shtml

    This question is of basic physiology, so I'mma shoot it over to OD.

    ebola
    Don't quote fuckall dude lol. Read this passage:

    Similarities

    Most of the time, there is no problem because veins are closer to the surface of the skin. So any thing an injector sees that looks like a vein usually is a vein. But there are veins that are close to the surface, especially in places like the hands, wrists, and neck. Another thing to keep in mind is that arteries tend to run along with veins--just deeper beneath the skin. So if the injector goes too deep, he may inject into a vein.

    If anyone understands this I give him nobel prize.
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    #18
    To answer this question u really need to have some background anatomy education... arteries branch out from the heart to capillaries, where they meet the veins and the veins carry it back to the heart. Now capillaries are where the artery branches out to a bunch of tiny vessels (if ur having trouble picturing this, imagine the amazon river on a map) and from the capillaries the blood diffuses the oxygen and other nutrients it carries out to the local tissue... if u inject into a vein, the drug goes to the heart and then is pumped evenly throughout the whole body. If u inject into an artery, the drug goes to the capillary and spills out and diffuses into the tissue at the capillary, some is picked up on the other end of the capillary by the veins which is why u might feel slightly high but most of it goes in the tissue around the capillary, which leads to swelling, burning, and quite often infection and amputation.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rocketqueen View Post
    Many of us have accidentally hit in an artery and this did not necessitate a trip to the ER.

    Veins carry blood to the heart, arteries carry blood away from the heart. Vein blood is dark blood while arterial blood is BRIGHT red. If you hit an artery using dope that does not obscure your view into the body of the syringe, it will bloom a bright red, while vein blood is much darker and more purplish.

    Beyond that, I can't be of much help as I do not know the exact "mechanism of action."
    U know, this is odd because while i know this is true about bright blood being oxygen enriched and dark blood being oxygen lacking, i have injected into the same vein more than once (99% sure its a vein) and usually it is dark blood but one time it was very broght. It was weird. I guess its just a perfect example of how theoretical vs experimental data doesnt always add up
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    #20
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    I have once injected a full 2ml barrel of h into my femoral artery the veins are wrapped around the artery so not hard to hit wrong one couldn't see the colour of the blood thanks to the uv lights in public toilets nowadays so once I saw blood flowing back pressed plunger as soon as it was in i felt like my leg was on fire 10 on pain scale , leg swole n looked like it was covered in citric burn rash must have doubled in size I wear loose fit jeans but no way I could pull them up but 5 min later my leg was back to normal and I swore never to inject again where. I couldn't see blood colour , ps don't inject in the groin it led me to have 2 abscesses the size of oranges on my groin which burst pouring black green smelly pus over my bed both times and need lots of antibiotics it also led to dvt which gave me one normal leg and one elephant leg which left me off work and very littleasy chance to walk or work or score for 3 months plus blood tests weekly for the warfarin I was on now I have an open sinus in my groin 2 cm long ready for infection any time not fun
    Ps if you do inject in an artery it doesn't work after my painful hit I had to go score again as I was still in withdrawal :-/
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    #21
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    Sorry if this has allready been said but I haven't read every post.....

    The dangers of injecting into an artery are manyfold but mainly due to the fact that veins take the blood back to the heart which is then pumped via the arteries around into systemic circulation to the organs , brain etc... Arteries in the arm or leg take the blood down to the extremities where the vessels get smaller and smaller cumulating in small capillaries. If for example you injected in to the brachial artery in the arm the susbstance would get trapped in the capillaries of the hand necessitating the amputation of the affected hand in extreme cases....

    Injecting into an artery deliberately makes no sense since the goal is to get the drug into systemic circulation and to the brain and going into an artery is like heading the wrong way down the freeway
    Last edited by BigG; 07-05-2016 at 21:25.
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    #22
    I started reading this thread, but noticed after a minute that the thread is over 4 years old. Heh. But yeah, artery shots are no good and can result in ghastly complications for exactly the reason englandz posted above.

    The substance travels to smaller and smaller vessels away from the heart. There is especially danger when injecting pills that are not filtered all the way, like thru a micron filter, since they have binders and fillers in them that are not actually water soluble, and can clog up the capillaries, thus leading to gangrene. Basically the tissue suffocates and dies, cuz blood can't flow to the said area cuz circulation is cut off. Kind of like how if you wrap a string around your finger, it turns all red and blue and gets cold. Same kind of deal.

    It indeed would baffle me why someone would deliberately shoot into an artery, and I have heard reports of people actually doing it too. The time I accidentally did it was terrible enough experience to always check to make sure I am nowhere near an artery when injecting. I always check to. Amen sure there is no pulse near where I am injecting, since arteries have a pulse, and I check to make sure the color, and texture of the blood is not bright red and foamy, and I check the pressure and speed of the blood flowing into the syringe. Arteries have high pressure, and the blood flows very fast into the syringe. Venous blood is low pressure and a slow flow.

    I know this thread is pretty old, but if someone stumbles upon this recently, I hope what I said helps someone tell the difference between hitting arteries and veins.
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    #23
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    Yup exactly correct what [MENTION=384976]sm0kestack[/MENTION] just posted....

    Even if it is an old thread as he says it might help someone stumbling upon it.

    Moral of tale.......don't inject into arteries
    Last edited by BigG; 10-05-2016 at 21:22.
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    #24
    I'm really glad someone did reply to this because Today I confirmed a horrible suspicion that iv been mauling over a couple weeks now.

    So today I realized that I have been hitting arteries for just about 2 years. The odd time I would get a vein and I thought something was wrong because the blood was dark.

    It's so weird because I never had any pain or swelling or anything at all.... I was shooting powder fent.

    The past two weeks I began shooting coke and I continued the way I always had and still no problems except maybe numbness the odd time but I thought that was the coke.
    I went pretty hard been using about a g a day so after the first few days I started feeling the coke go straight to my hand. It would get a little blotchy and red and that's it. It's slowly been getting worse, starting off okay in the morning after I'd sleep therefore stop shooting, and by the end of the day I would notice the symptoms more and more. I've been searching and searching for answers as to what's going on and if I'm hitting arteries why do I feel no pain?
    So I figured it can't be arteries but even after posting here and being reassured and being convinced for a very short time, I still had this nagging feeling that something was wrong.

    Today I noticed my hand swell up a little bit. I don't know if it never happened before or I didn't notice because it's very subtle and I would always heat it and elevate it because I thought it was just bad vasoconstriction and I didn't want the circulation to stop in my hands. But I noticed my hand looked funny this time, almost like it was backwards. I finally realized that my fears and worries were right on point.

    I don't understand how I could be shooting fentanyl powder off the street with NO negative effects!? It was only after a very heavy coke binge did some minor symptoms start coming up...
    Does anyone have any idea..?

    Also should I be concerned about the well being of my hands now? All symptoms would always go away but the last few days my finger tips have been purple and a little bit of pain but it gets better if I give it a break. Should I be worried and go see a doc or am I okay if my hands keep looking better?

    Also, this worries me about my veins... I don't think I hit them very much so they can't be too damaged... but why have I never been able to successfully get them? I can see and feel them but I always get the lighter blood even when I go right for it... It was never pink and frothy so I thought maybe it could be from a vein...

    The way the blood squirted in and the way it wasn't really dark made me second guess myself but because I never felt anything wrong so I just shrugged it off. But when I realized today what i've been doing it actually made me sick, I don't know how I'm still in one piece but I'm really fucking grateful for it.

    Small detail I wanna add, not too important but I just remembered I would get pain but only on the back of my forearm and it was only when putting the rig in so I thought it was just pain from poking myself. Didn't feel any pain when actually pushing down the plunger but I would get the redness and and white blotchy bump things so I thought I was missing even though I made sure to flag before and a few times during the actual injection.
    Last edited by mBaby; 10-05-2016 at 21:16.
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    #25
    I would MOST CERTAINLY GO TO THE ER if your fingers are turning blue/purple. That means there is clogged up blood vessels like I was saying in my post above mBaby. Your finger tips are not getting any oxygen rich blood, and this could be a sign of gangrene setting in. It is no joke! GO TO THE ER ASAP!!

    As for why you were able to shoot the street fentanyl into your arteries without complications is basically luckcif you ask me. Perhaps everything in it just happens to be all water soluble, and by the time the substance got to your extremities it was fully dissolved and able to move through your cappilaries. Now the coke may have some not so water soluble cut and ingredients, so now that stuff is clogging up your capillaries!

    Shooting ANY substance into an artery is extremely dangerous!! Go get yourself looked at now dude, you may be in store for losing limbs!
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