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. Please attend Heatherwood Hospital walk-in clinic which is open Monday – Friday from 8.30 am to 4pm (Closed for lunch between 1-1.30pm). If you are having a FASTING blood test, please ensure that you do not eat or drink anything EXCEPT WATER for 12-14 hours before the test. If you take regular medication, you should also continue to take this with water as usual.
Blood samples from children are most commonly taken from the back of the hand though this will be decided upon presenting. The child’s hand (elbow) will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream or cold spray before the sample is taken. At Heatherwood Hospital, Childrens Ward children under the age of 10 are able to have their bloods taken by appointment only. To get an appointment, please call 01344 877108.
There is also a Walk-in clinic for children of 7 years and under at the Paediatric Assessment Unit, Ward 24, Wexham Park Hospital which is held daily Monday-Friday from 8-9.15 am.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.