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Newsdio.com Staff : For most people, having blood taken is quick, easy and relatively painless.  Other people feel anxious and need some strategies to help them cope.  Children, the elderly, and people who have a disability may need special help when having a sample taken.

The blood needed for a diagnostic test is usually fairly easy to obtain. It requires a procedure called venipuncture (a term that quite simply means ‘puncturing the vein’). The person performing this procedure may be your doctor, a nurse, or someone specially trained in collecting blood samples, a phlebotomist.

If you are feeling anxious or unwell or if you have previously fainted, let the person collecting the sample know. They will generally suggest you lie down. Also, let them know if you are allergic to medical tapes, isopropyl alcohol or latex.

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What happens?

The person collecting your blood sample will insert a small needle into one of your veins.  Usually this is in your arm. Usually, they are able to identify a vein that is easily accessible.  Clenching your fist, when you are asked to, helps make the vein more prominent. They will draw off a small amount of blood and it will run into tubes to send to the laboratory. After taking a sample of your blood, a cotton-wool dressing is taped over the puncture site. you will usually be asked to apply gentle pressure to help the blood clot and prevent swelling and bruising. Leave the dressing in place for a short time (usually 2–4 hours).

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The tubes are sent to the laboratory where the blood is analysed according to the test your doctor has requested on the referral form.

If you faint or feel unwell during or after your blood test, you will be asked to stay until you have fully recovered.   If you have a tendency to bleed or bruise, let the collector know.  To help prevent bruising to your puncture site, do not carry anything heavy or undertake strenuous exercise within 24 hours of your blood test.

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