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.
If the doctor decides that a blood test is required, the practice will contact you to arrange a date and time.
Our nursing capacity is limited, especially with the pandemic and Covid vaccination programme. We do not have the capacity to undertake blood tests requested by the hospital. If the hospital has asked you to have a blood test regarding a condition for which you are under their care, then this should be done at the relevant hospital (St Luke's or BRI locally). Under exceptional circumstances we may be able to arrange the blood test at the surgery, however, you MUST have a blood form and bag provided by the requesting doctor at the hospital in order to do this, and you will need to bring this with you.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.