Blood Tests (Phlebotomy)
A blood test involves a sample of blood taken for testing to assess your general state of health.
Your medical practitioner may order a blood test for you to monitor an ongoing condition, to confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection, to see how well certain organs such as the liver and kidneys are functioning, to check your blood count, vitamin levels etc.
How is a blood test carried out?
- A blood test usually involves attaching a tourniquet and then gently placing a needle attached to a syringe into one of the veins on the inside of your elbow or wrist.
- You will feel a sharp prick as the needle goes in but this is not particularly painful.
- A sample of blood is then taken and the needle is removed.
- You will be given a cotton-wool pad to put pressure on the site of the injection, which stops any bleeding and should prevent bruising but this can occasionally occur.
- Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete.
Some blood tests require several samples taken over a period of time. For example, they may be done to check how you respond to a glucose load. The results can help detect health problems in early stages, when treatments or lifestyle changes may work best.
Your doctor may consider other factors to confirm a diagnosis including; your signs and symptoms, your medical history, your vital signs (blood pressure, breathing, pulse, and temperature) and results from other tests and procedures.