Blood Test Information

Why should I get a blood test?

Some blood collected from your body can give your doctor information that can help save or improve the quality of your life. Blood test can be used for:

  • Diagnosis of conditions that could seriously affect your health
  • Monitoring treatment
  • Screening for undiagnosed medical conditions

What can I do to prepare for a blood test?

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( This website suggests some helpful hints below that might be useful when you need to have a blood test. There is no specific thing that you need to do to prepare for a blood test. Things that might be helpful however are:

  • If you are aware of the procedure knowing what will happen is a good way to maintain calmness.
  • Drink some water before the test. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of liquid a day helps blood flow better and makes the veins more likely to stick up and be found easily
  • Increase blood flow by taking a walk
  • Eating well the day before the blood test, if fasting is not required, as this improves blood flow
  • Applying a moisturiser at least 4 times a day from the hand to the elbow (or wherever you expect the skin will be punctured). This can make the puncture less painful. Moisturisers work best when applied just after the skin has just been wet, for example after bathing, showering, swimming, or washing dishes.
  • Being warm increases your blood circulation, which makes it easier for the phlebotomist to find a vein. While you are waiting, you may want to leave your coat or jumper on and let your arm dangle down to increase the blood pressure in the veins. If your blood is difficult to draw, lying down and warming your hands under a heating pad and blanket usually provides good results.

Will It Hurt?

When the needle is inserted under the skin, and when it is withdrawn, there might be a little sting. It will help your client to know that they will feel pain or discomfort for a very short period of time. To say that it won’t hurt might mislead your client and this could lead to trust issues.

Feeling Faint?

If you are nervous or have a tendency to feel woozy or faint, tell the phlebotomist before you begin. Your blood can be taken while you are lying
down, which will help you avoid fainting and injuring yourself. If, at any time, you feel faint or lightheaded, tell the phlebotomist or someone nearby. Putting your head between your knees or lying down should also make you feel better.

Is there something I can use to numb the arm before the blood test?

You can obtain numbing creams from your local chemist such as EMLA cream. It also comes in the form of patches that are put on the skin where the needle will be inserted. They are local anaesthetics. You need to plan ahead with these creams and patches however because they should be applied at least an hour before the procedure.