Tips on Blood Testing

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Other Methods of Collecting Blood Samples

Finger-Pricks - A small number of blood tests require just a finger-prick. A very small sample of blood from your capillaries can be obtained from the fingertip or earlobe, or from the heel or big toe of a newborn.

Warming the skin with moist compresses for about 10 minutes helps blood flow to the area. The skin is then pricked with a lancet. Because there are more nerves in the finger than in your elbow, you may find that a finger-prick is a bit more painful than venipuncture, although it can seem less intimidating.

Arterial Samples - In more critical situations patients admitted into hospital may require blood to be taken from arteries. This procedure, known as an arterial sample, is performed by a doctor or specially trained nurse. A local anaesthetic may be administered, and afterward, the nurse will apply pressure to stop the bleeding and prevent bruising.

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