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.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.
Getting a Blood Test
If your doctor asks you to have a blood test please speak to reception re appointment options available.
We generally ask that you to attend the daily Phlebotomy Clinics at either the Andover War Memorial Hospital or the Royal Hampshire County Hospital Winchester - no appointment necessary. We do have a limited number of appointments at our clinics run by our Community Phlebotomist and Practice Nurses but these are especially for the elderly or those with transport problems.
If your doctor has asked you to come back to discuss the blood result, please allow a week between having the blood taken and seeing and/or speaking to your doctor again.
Fasting Blood Tests
Your doctor may ask for a fasting blood test (usually for cholesterol and/or blood sugar). If you are asked to have one of these tests, please tell the receptionist so that she can help you to have an early morning appointment as you need to fast overnight. You should have nothing to eat or drink (this includes chewing gum) other than water for at least 12 hours before the blood test; refrain from taking exercise or smoking and avoid alcohol for 24 hours.
We may not always be able offer an early appointment at the surgery but the receptionist will advise you and you can take your form to have the procedure done at either Andover or Winchester Hospital where they hold daily clinics from 7.30am without having to make an appointment.