Blood tests – Patient information

Preparing for your blood test, what to expect at your appointment and understanding your blood test results

What is a blood test?

A blood test involves taking a sample of blood for testing in a laboratory. The medical name for the procedure is Phlebotomy.

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
  • Screen for certain genetic conditions

Preparing for a blood test

The healthcare professional who arranges your blood test will tell you whether there are any specific

instructions you need to follow before your test.

Depending on the type of blood test, you may be asked to:

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything, apart from water (fasting for a minimum for 10 hours prior to the test)
  • Avoid chewing gum, eating lozenges and/or sweets
  • Stop taking certain types of medication

We strongly advise all our patients to register for online access either via the NHSapp or by registering with Patient Access. Click HERE for information about how to register for online services.

By having this you can gain access to your test results as soon as they are available on your medical record.

If your test results are ‘normal’ it is unlikely you will be contacted by the health centre team to tell you this.

If there is an action to be carried out as a result of your blood test findings you will be contacted by one of our Care Navigators.

What to expect at your blood test appointment

A blood test usually involves taking a blood sample from a vein in your arm.

The arm is a convenient part of the body to use because it can be easily uncovered. The usual place for a sample to be taken from is the inside of the elbow, where the veins are relatively close to the surface.

A tight band (tourniquet) is usually put around your upper arm. This squeezes the arm, temporarily slowing down the flow of blood out of the arm and causing the vein to swell with blood. This makes it easier for a blood sample to be taken.

The area on the arm will be swabbed prior to taking a blood sample. If the arm requires cleaning, this will be done using soap and water and then a swab will be used on the area the sample will be taken from.

Needles are gently inserted into the vein. These are attached to special blood-collecting containers used to draw out a sample of blood.

You may feel a slight pricking sensation as the needle is inserted, but it should not be painful. If you do not like needles or injections, tell the person who is taking the sample so they can make you more comfortable. If you feel faint, you can lie down.

When the sample has been taken, the needle will be removed. Pressure is applied to the tiny break in the skin for a few minutes using a gauze pad to stop the bleeding and to prevent bruising. This will be taped in place or a plaster may then be put on the small wound to keep it clean and prevent infection.

Your blood sample will be sent to the laboratory the same day usually and results should be back within 5 to 7 working days.

Test Results

Understanding comments on your online record. This list details the kind of comments that you may see next to your blood results when you view them online.

Normal result The doctor has looked at the result and deemed it to be within the normal range for the test
Acceptable/ Expected result The doctor feels your result is acceptable and has made no further plans. Some patients have consistently abnormal results that are “normal” for them
Treated appropriately/ On correct Treatment The doctor has already discussed and/or already prescribed medication. For example: antibiotic for chest or urine infection. Seek help if symptoms persist despite finishing course
Appointment already booked The doctor is aware you already have an appointment booked (Telephone or Face to Face) to review the result
Review as planned with doctor The doctor has already discussed a plan of action with you prior to having your tests
Diabetes appointment scheduled Your diabetes follow-up appointment has been booked
Mixed Growth Your result suggests you do not have a urine infection however should your symptoms persist please consult a clinician. Pregnant women or children: please discuss with your GP
INR result: Hospital Controlled This for patients on Warfarin. It means that the patient is contacted by the Hospital to determine their correct dose (under anticoagulation clinic)
Tests requested by Hospital/ Midwife Results of the tests requested by your hospital doctor/ consultant/Midwife. You may want to discuss the results with the consultant/ midwife at your follow-up appointment or contact the clinicians who requested this test if you wish to discuss before the next appointment
Noted and dealt with The result has been appropriately actioned already by your GP
Health check blood tests This is just to say that these bloods were taken during your Health Check appointment. A GP might include a comment if you should consider taking a STATIN to lower your cholesterol
Collect script/ medication This means your result (s) show that you need to have some medication. Collect a prescription from either the surgery or your usual pharmacy
Diabetes follow up with nurse/ GP Used for diabetic patients, to tell the patient who they should be seeing for their follow up review
Non-diabetes

Hyperglycaemia/Pre-diabetes

This means that your blood sugars are higher than usual, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Follow the link for further information: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/preventing-type-2-diabetes/prediabetes

Repeat diabetes blood in 3 months For diabetic patients, this means that the doctor would like you to repeat your blood test in 3 months. Please book an appointment with the HCA
Repeat diabetes urine in 4-6 weeks For diabetic patients, the doctor has asked for you to repeat your urine sample in 4-6 week’s time. Please collect a sample bottle from Reception. Collect first urine sample produced in the morning, and hand in when completed
Repeat test The doctor would like you to repeat the test as they have deemed it slightly out of the acceptable range
Repeat test: specimen unlabelled/ Lab rejected the sample The laboratory has rejected the sample, therefore you will need to repeat the test
Repeat as per DMARD protocol You will need to repeat your blood tests as per the timescale advised by the specialist, for example Rheumatologist, Gastroenterologist
ABNORMAL *Comments will differ*
To book appointment:

ROUTINE

The GP wishes to contact you (either telephone or face to face) in order to explain the result or to review your condition even if the results are normal
To book appointment:

URGENT

The doctor wishes to contact you (either telephone or face to face) more urgently than the above (within the next few days)
Tell patient:

NORMAL

The doctor has looked at the result and deemed it to be within the normal range for the test.
Test result letter The doctor has written to you a letter, explaining about your test result/s
Awaiting review by requesting GP Your result is not filed yet, waiting to be reviewed by the requesting GP
TASK sent to requesting GP Your result is filed as no immediate action is required, but being sent to the requesting GP to review

If at any time your are concerned about your test results or you feel you should have been

contacted by someone at the practice and you haven’t been, please make contact with us via the main line number 01608 642742 or online via our Ask the Practice a Question | Chipping Norton Health Centre form.