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.
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. You should obtain a precription for this special cream when booking your child's blood test (we may also have some in stock in the practice). The cream should be applied one hour before the child's blood test appointment.
Please note the practice does not take blood from children under 6 years of age. We can of course arrange a referral to paediatrics for younger children.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.