What is a blood test?
A blood test is taking a sample of blood 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
- screen for certain genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and we provide this service within surgery to patients aged 16 and over.
If your child requires a blood test you can take them to either:
- University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire - UHCW (Walsgrave Hospital) Clifford Bridge Road, Coventry, CV2 2DX
- City of Coventry Health Centre - 2 Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry CV1 4FS
Preparing for a blood test
The requesting GP or Nurse will tell you whether there are any specific instructions you need to follow before your test.
For example, depending on the type of blood test, you may be asked to:
- avoid eating or drinking anything, apart from water (fasting blood test)
- stop taking a certain medication
We advise not to eat or drink anything (apart from water) from 10pm the night before your fasting blood test.
How is a blood test obtained?
The phelebotomist will check your personal details, including your name, date of birth and address prior to taking the test.
A tight band (tourniquet) will be fitted around your upper arm. This squeezes the arm, temporarily slowing down the flow of blood out of the arm, and causing the vein to swell with blood. This makes it easier for a blood sample to be taken. The phelebotomist will check for the appropriate vein to test (inside of the elbow) and clean the area with an antiseptic wipe.
You may feel a slight sting as the needle goes in, but it should not be painful. If you do not like needles, tell the phelebotomist who is taking the sample so they can make you more comfortable. If you feel faint, let the phelebotomist know.
When the sample has been taken, the needle will be removed and disposed. You will be asked to apply pressure to the tiny break in the skin for a few minutes using a cotton-wool pad, this is to stop the bleeding and to prevent bruising. A small dressing fixed with micropore tape will then be put on the small wound to keep it clean and prevent infection.
How do i find out my results?
Results normally take 5-7 days, however some results may take longer than others. Your GP or Nurse will advise you at the time of the request if a follow up is required.