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Toxicology Tests

How It Is Done

Blood test

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.

Clean-catch midstream urine collection

Collecting the urine this way keeps the sample from being contaminated.

  • Wash your hands to make sure they are clean before you collect the urine.
  • If the collection cup has a lid, remove it carefully. Set it down with the inner surface up. Do not touch the inside of the cup with your fingers.
  • Clean the area around your genitals.
    • For men: Pull back the foreskin, if you have one. Clean the head of the penis thoroughly with medicated towelettes or swabs.
    • For women: Spread open the folds of skin around the vagina with one hand. Then use your other hand to clean the area around the vagina and urethra camera.gif thoroughly with medicated towelettes or swabs. Wipe the area from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus to the urethra.
  • Start urinating into the toilet or urinal. Women should keep holding apart the folds of skin around the vagina while they urinate.
  • After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place the collection cup into the stream. Collect about 3 fl oz (90 mL) of this "midstream" urine without stopping the flow.
  • Do not touch the rim of the cup to your genital area. And don't get toilet paper, pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the urine sample.
  • Finish urinating into the toilet or urinal.
  • Carefully replace the lid on the cup. Return the cup to the lab. If you are collecting the urine at home and can't get it to the lab in an hour, refrigerate it.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 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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