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 is one of the most common types of medical test.
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
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.
Getting a blood test
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.
We have a Phlebotomy clinic that runs at the practice on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, you can book an appointment with our reception. Any blood forms that the GP has provided you can be left with reception and they will be given to the Phlebotomist on the day of your test.
Alternatively, you can attend other Phlebotomy clinics at the following sites:
- South Tyneside Hospital – Mon-Fri 08:30 – 16:30
- Stanhope Parade Health Centre – Mon-Fri 08:30 – 11:45
- Palmers Community Hospital, Jarrow – Mon-Fri 08:30 – 12:15
- Flagg Court Primary Care Centre – Mon-Fri 08:30 – 12:00
Fasting Blood Tests
If your doctor has requested that you attend for a fasting blood test, this may be for glucose or lipid/cholesterol testing.
For this testing to be performed you are required to fast overnight prior to the blood test. This means that you should consume no food or drink (except plain water) for 12 to 16 hours before the blood test.
You may continue to drink water during the fast but not more that the equivalent amount of fluid you would normally drink in that period.
Please continue to take any prescribed medication with water only, there are some exceptions to this, but your doctor should advise you of this before your tests.
Failure to comply with this fasting period may result in equivocal results being obtained, which could be misinterpreted or require a repeat of the entire procedure.
Children’s Blood Tests
Parents can ring the Children’s Day Unit on 0191 404 1048 to arrange their child’s blood test. The Unit is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday’s and provides a child friendly service which helps reduce anxiety to children and their carers. The Unit’s staff are experienced and provide diversion techniques during the procedure. There is also a playroom available for children to use whilst they are waiting for their test.