When your doctor requires you to have blood tests to investigate your medical condition you will be given a form which you will need to hand to the Staff at the Reception desk. Here you will be given an appointment with the Practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant, who will then take samples of your blood for testing. During the early afternoon these samples will then be transported to the Pathology laboratory at Pilgrim Hospital, where most blood tests are performed.
Patients coming for blood tests for lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar are to fast completely, ie, nothing but water for 12 hours before blood is taken for these tests. Patients testing for digoxin levels should present no sooner than six hours after the last dose of medication. Other samples for drug monitoring such as anticonvulsants should be through levels, i.e. pre-dose.
Children are seen by appointment only in Paediatric Outpatients of Pilgrim Hospital.
About Blood Tests
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.