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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
    Bluelighter polymath's Avatar
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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
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    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

    Getting high? RTFM: Bluelight Drug FAQs | Bluelight WIKI
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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
    Bluelighter polymath's Avatar
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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
    BL Ambassador 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
    Bluelighter Nagelfar's Avatar
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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
    Bluelighter phatass's Avatar
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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
    Bluelighter Ksa's Avatar
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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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