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 Health Care Assistant taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm. and the usual place for a sample is the inside of the elbow, where the veins are relatively close to the surface. Blood samples from children are most commonly taken by the hospital, although you can have local anaesthetic cream for this procedure.
Appointments for blood tests are done in a morning as the samples are collected at 1.15pm each day and many of the samples will not store overnight.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.