How It Is Done continued...
For a fingertip
sample, the health professional taking the sample will:
- Clean your hand with soap and warm water or
an alcohol swab.
Massage your hand without touching the puncture
- Puncture the skin on the side of your middle or ring finger
with a small instrument called a lancet.
- Wipe away the first drop
- Place a small tube called a capillary tube on the
puncture site and collect a small amount of blood.
- Put a gauze pad
or cotton ball over the puncture site as the tube is removed.
pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
Blood test from a vein
The health professional
taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to
stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is
easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick
may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as
the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in
your arm or from your fingertip. You may feel nothing at all from the needle or
lancet, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch. The elastic band that is
wrapped around your upper arm when blood is taken from a vein may feel
There is very little chance of a problem from
having a blood sample taken from your fingertip or a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You can
lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the
blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be
used several times a day to treat this.
- Ongoing bleeding can be a
problem for people who have bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and
other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have
bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell
your doctor before your blood sample is taken.