Everything You Should Know For Getting Your Blood Drawn


Your health care provider has asked you to get your blood drawn and you are just getting ready for it. Well, several questions will arise in your mind at this point of time and you must be really worried about the results of the blood tests. Consult with your doctor once you get the result and see if everything is okay. Read on to know what you should do much ahead of time for your comfortable and easy blood draw.

Before performing your blood test

Your private GP should inform whether you need to do fasting before your private blood testing in London. If you do not know, confirm any requirements with your provider in advance.

Do fasting in a smart way – Fasting for a blood test means you should not eat all foods and beverages for at least 8 to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you drink sufficient amount of water and take the medications, as directed. Some small tests have stricter requirements like H. pylori breath test that involves consuming nothing and including water for at least an hour before performing the test.

Tip: You should come for the blood test with snacks. In case you are fasting, head to the laboratory in the morning and carry a healthy snack that you can eat after the test.

Drink sufficient amount of water – Many people think they should not drink water before the blood draw. This is because drinking water will make you feel better at the time of fasting and also make a blood draw smoother. Your blood is almost 50 percent of water and so the more water you drink, the plumper your veins will become. Thus, it will be very easy for the technician to draw blood, locate the veins and finally, remove the blood.

Urine tests are usually ordered along with the blood tests, and the fuller your bladder might be, the easier it will be for you to provide the sample.

Tip: Drink extra water at the start of the day before your blood draw to ensure you have been properly hydrated the day of the draw.

Insurance coverage

Do you need to perform an unusual test? If yes, then you must be wondering if your insurance will cover for it. You need to contact your insurance provider to know about the entire coverage. If you have any questions, discuss about it with the provider. Some labs provide considerable discounts if you pay upfront during the service.

You have a lab order

You require a lab order from your provider to get your blood drawn. If you don’t know if you have an order on-file, call at the office and they will surely have a look. If you want the provider to order for blood work, book an appointment so that you may discuss about your concerns and come up with the tests customised for you.

What you can expect during the blood draw

No one thinks about getting their blood drawn in advance, but the process is usually short and simple. Mostly, people get inside and outside the lab room within 15 minutes. The phlebotomist will begin by pressing his/her fingers gently against your skin to find out the best vein. After this, they will wear gloves, clean area with by using an alcohol pad, tie a tourniquet around the upper arm to increase flow of blood, ask to create a fist, and then insert the needle accordingly.

Tip: The phlebotomists will engage you in conversations to make you feel relaxed so that the needle prick is less painful. Start chatting with your phlebotomist and distract yourself from the blood draw.

Shy veins

The phlebotomists are highly skilled for drawing blood from several patients. Some veins might be trickier to draw blood than others. The phlebotomist might tighten the tourniquet, spend extra time for palpating your veins or placing a hot pad against the skin for extracting shy veins.

Taking the time upfront for detecting the best vein is certainly the time well spent. The goal of a phlebotomist is to draw blood easily only once with minimal pain. If the phlebotomist does not attain success after the two sticks, then he/she might recommend you return another day

Tip: If you have some kind of phobia with needles or fainted earlier, then inform the phlebotomist about it. They will position you so that you do not faint, keep the needles out of your sight or use the right words for soothing you at the time of blood draw.

What happens after the blood test?

Bruising is a normal thing

Once the blood draw is done, the phlebotomist removes the needle, holds gauze against the puncture site, and asks to apply pressure. Applying pressure directly after the blood draw mitigates some side effects of bruising.

With necessary precautions, bruising and swelling around the puncture site may take place. As every person has different veins and they move often, bruising can occur with the most experienced phlebotomists. If you bruise, then it should go away within a few days.

Get the blood draw results

Your blood sample will then be sent to a laboratory that is related to your insurance provider. After the lab processes the samples and sends us the results, the provider will drop you an email by providing the interpretation of the results and file of the results for further reference. If it has been more than ten days of your blood draw and you have not received an email, contact your doctor immediately.

Some FAQs on blood tests

Do you need to perform blood tests every year?

Your doctor will not order a standardized set of tests for each patient. Rather, the providers test for the selected concerns only depending on the symptoms, family history and risk factors. The testing for specific concerns only than ordering every test under the sun ensures you will not end up attaining potentially harmful treatments for the diseases that you do not have. Also, it will keep your health care costs much lower for your convenience.

In case you have developed new symptoms, try to make significant changes in your lifestyle or get a particular test done for specific reason. Also, you can book an appointment with your provider to discuss it together and determine whether a blood test is the right course of action for your case.

Where should you go for a blood draw?

You will find walk-in facilities and on-site lab services where you can get your blood drawn according to your convenience. Call your doctor and know if they will be available at the time when you want to draw your blood.

Thus, you need to visit a private clinic for your same day blood tests in London and get the results immediately. Your doctor will suggest whether you have a good health condition or need to undergo further tests

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About the Author: Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont is a senior reporter on the Guardian's Global Development desk. He has reported extensively from conflict zones including Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East and is the author of The Secret Life of War: Journeys Through Modern Conflict. Email: peter@thehearus.com