Blood tests can be performed at the Surgery every weekday morning by our Health Care Assistant. (We also offer early morning nursing appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.00am to 8.00am). Our Reception Staff will be able to book an appointment for you.
A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test. For example, a blood test can be used to:
- assess your general state of health
- confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection
- see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are functioning
A blood test usually involves the phlebotomist taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm, and the usual place for a sample is the inside of the elbow or wrist, where the veins are relatively close to the surface. Blood samples from children are most commonly taken from the back of the hand. The child's hand will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream before the sample is taken.
Preparation for a Blood Test
Non-Fasting Blood Tests
It is easier to perform a blood test if you are not dehydrated and it is helpful if you have some fluids before you attend the Surgery. This could be a couple of glasses of water or tea/coffee though both of these have minor diuretic action which means they pass through your system more quickly than plain water.
Fasting Blood Tests
You may need a fasting blood test if your sugar or cholesterol is being tested. If you are asked to fast please ensure that you have nothing to eat after 10.00pm the previous evening and drink WATER ONLY from that time until after your appointment - it is helpful if you drink plenty of water in the morning before your blood test.
Please take your medications as normal unless your medication needs to be taken with food in which case you should wait until after your test.
It is a good idea to bring a snack with you to eat after the blood test in case you feel light-headed from fasting. This could be a biscuit or banana for example.
Unfortunately a few people bruise following a blood test. This can be because the procedure was difficult or due to medication eg anticoagulant therapy or aspirin. Firm pressure over the vein for 5 minutes after the test can be helpful in reducing the bruising and discomfort.
WHAT TESTS ARE AND WHAT THEY MEAN?
FBC - Tests looking at red and white blood cells, often used to exclude anaemia
TFT - Tests the activity of the thyroid gland
ESR - A test that looks for inflammation in the body
CRP - A test that looks for inflammation in the body
U&E - Testing for kidney function and salts in the body
LFT - Tests the liver function
RBS (Glucose) - Tests the blood sugar level
LH/FSH - Measure hormone levels
URIC ACID - A test for gout
HbA1C - Looks at how the body has controlled its sugar level over the past 3 months
INR - Tests warfarin levels
CHOLESTEROL/LIPIDS - Measures different fats in the blood
IM/GLANDULAR FEVER - Specific test for Glandular Fever
Ferritin/B12/Folate - Test looking at the level of iron and vitamins in the blood
AUTO-ANTIBODIES/RHEUMATOID FACTOR - Tests for proteins that can be found in certain types of illness
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.