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, 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, these are usually done at the hospital
Fasting Blood Tests
If you require a fasting blood test, you must not eat or drink anything from 9.00pm the night before. Priotity is given to patients who are fasting when appointments are booked. (Diabetic patients are not required to fast)..
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.