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Mononucleosis Tests

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 site.
  • Puncture the skin on the side of your middle or ring finger with a small instrument called a lancet.
  • Wipe away the first drop of blood.
  • 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.
  • Put 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 alcohol.
  • Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
  • Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
  • Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
  • 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 bandage.

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 tight.


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 minutes.
  • 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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