Patient Information

Children's Health leaflets

Health Play Department
Bergholt Ward, Ipswich Hospital
Tel: 01473 702 186


Our quick guide to blood tests


This is a blood test.

Blood test sampling image

It is one of the most common types of test to be requested by doctors.

Samples have to be taken from a vein. You can sometimes see your veins in various parts of your body, like the inside of your wrist – they look like bluish-green wiggly lines.

Blood tests are usually taken from the back of your hand or inner elbow (or otherwise known as the cubital fossa).

Your doctor can gather lots of information about how your body is currently working from a blood test.

The test is generally performed in a treatment room. As well as the doctor or nurse doing the test, another member of staff may assist them by supporting your arm. They may use a stretchy strap called a tourniquet around your arm, which will squeeze a little.

Numbing products can be used to help with any discomfort. This could be a ‘cold spray’ or a local anaesthetic cream.  This cream can be purchased from your local pharmacy or obtained through your GP prior to your appointment. It will need to be applied some time prior to the procedure – please see the product information sheet for application guidance.

Good positioning and distraction can really help; you could use a mobile phone, tablet or ‘spotting’ book. Being relaxed, warm and well hydrated also can aid a successful blood test.

The test should only take a few minutes to complete.  Your sample will be put into different testing bottles. The amount will depend on what the doctor wants to test for, but most bottles hold anything from 1ml up to 5mls – that’s just a teaspoon.

The sample will be sent to the laboratory for analysis. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks for the results.


For more information

Speak to your nurse or play specialist.



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