What is Involved in a Private Blood Test?

In terms of involvement, private blood testing is pretty much the same as normal blood testing in respect to the procedure performed but may differ slightly in how the results are handled. Only a fully qualified professional should be carrying out the procedure to take the blood, and the clinic itself should be officially certified.

Blood is usually taken from a vein in the arm, ideally on your less dominant arm, however if this is not possible it may be taken from another location such as the hand. In children, it is most common for blood to be taken from the hand following some anaesthesia to the area so as to reduce the pain they experience. Before blood can be taken, a tight band, or tourniquet, must be placed around the arm. The aim of this is to increase the pressure within the veins, therefore slowing the flow of blood away from the arm and increasing the amount available for the blood sample. Some people have a phobia of needles so may be anxious prior to the test. If this is the case for you, the professional taking the sample should do as much as they can to make you feel comfortable.

Firstly, the skin is cleaned using an anti-bacterial wipe to reduce the chances of an infection in the wound caused by the needle. The needle is attached to a syringe so the blood can be drawn out of the vein and into a collection tube for analysis. As the needle goes in, you may feel a sharp scratch but this should not be too uncomfortable. If at any time you feel in severe discomfort or pain, inform the doctor or nurse immediately.

After the blood has been taken and needle withdrawn, pressure must be applied to the small wound to minimise the bleeding. If required, a plaster may be used to keep the wound clean and reduce risks of infection.  The blood is then appropriately labelled by the doctor and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

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