PLEASE NOTE ALL BLOOD TESTS ARE NOW BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
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FOREST MEDICAL CENTRE RECTORY LANE, EPPING AND HARLOW
A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. 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.
Fasting blood tests
You may be asked to fast before your test which usually involves not having anything to eat or drink except water for 8 hours before the test. If you have any specific nutritional requirements or take any medications that lower your blood sugar that may impact on your ability to fast please discuss with the clinician requesting the test.
You do NOT need to fast before a cholesterol check.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices