What is a blood test?
Blood tests help the doctor with your diagnosis, in monitoring your treatment or reviewing the levels of some medications.
Are there any complications from having a blood sample taken?
Sometimes a bruise develops where the needle was inserted. This is much less likely to happen if keep your arm straight and press over the site with cotton wool for several minutes.
As with any wound, an infection may develop where the needle was inserted. Please consult your GP if the wound site becomes red and/or inflamed.
Rarely, some people feel faint during a blood test. Tell the person doing the test if you feel faint as you should lie down immediately to prevent fainting. It is helpful to let us know if you have felt faint before when having a blood test.
How is a blood test carried out?
In the Pathology Department, before you are called in for your test it would help us if you remove your coat/jacket and roll up your sleeve.
Blood tests are taken from a vein, usually on the inside of the arm, near to the elbow. First a tight band (tourniquet) is tied around the upper arm to make the vein prominent. The tourniquet will become tight, but this makes it much easier to take the blood. A needle is put into the vein – you might feel a slight scratch. The needle will be attached to a blood test bottle. When the necessary amount of blood has been taken, the needle will be removed, the tourniquet released and a little ball of cotton wool is held over the wound. This should be pressed for 1 – 2 minutes before a dressing is applied.
What do I do if I have a query with the test requested?
Please contact the person requesting the test and discuss it with them.