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For many, blood tests can seem like a scary thing. We have answered the most common blood test questions to put your mind at ease.
Here at Medichecks, our mission is to make state-of-the-art laboratory blood testing available to everyone. Our customer service team often receive questions about the testing process. Because of this, we thought it would be good to look at and answer some of the most common questions asked. We hope this will give those who are nervous about taking their own sample or worried about ordering their own kit the confidence they need to take control of their health!
From our range of nearly 1,000 blood tests and health checks, many can be completed using a finger prick sample. We will only ever offer the option of a finger prick sample if the laboratory is able to analyse results from only a few drops of blood. If they require more than this then we will recommend a venous blood draw in a clinic or at home where a medical professional will draw the blood from a vein in your arm and collect a larger volume of blood. For a finger prick test, drinking plenty of water and placing your hands in warm water for a couple of minutes prior to collecting your sample will encourage blood flow to ease the process. A little gentle exercise before taking your sample also helps.
Unless stated otherwise we recommend that you take your sample in the morning. For hormone tests, this is because hormone levels are at their highest in the morning and this will give the best result. For certain tests, there are specific times of the day that you will need to take your sample - for example, our cortisol blood test should be taken at 9 am and our cortisol saliva tests are to be taken at certain set times during the day. If your sample needs to be drawn at a particular time we will send you an email advising you to do so.
Some of our tests do require you to fast before your sample is taken, but as with the timing of your sample collection, we will inform you via email if you need to fast beforehand. Some of our tests require you to avoid eating certain food types for a period of time before the blood draw, but again, if this is the case we will let you know.
Your sample must be posted on the same day it is collected. We recommend taking and posting your sample on a weekday (Monday to Friday) to ensure it arrives at the laboratory as quickly as possible without being delayed in the post. Don't post your sample ahead of a bank holiday weekend or extended public holiday when it is likely to take longer to reach the laboratory.
Generally, blood is stable in the post for up to 3 days. A prepaid first class envelope is provided in every Medichecks testing kit so if a sample is posted between Monday and Friday it will reach the laboratory the next day. A small number of our tests require you to attend our London laboratory to have the sample draw. This is because the sample required for these tests does not remain stable in the post and must be analysed by the laboratory immediately after being drawn.
On each test page on our website, we give a turnaround time. This indicates when you should expect to receive your results - it is stated in working days from the time your sample is received at the lab. This does not include the time it takes for your sample to reach the lab in the post, and excludes weekend days and public holidays. Please be aware that the turnaround time is for guidance only - on rare occasions it may take a day or two longer to process your results.
Any results outside the normal range will be looked at by one of our doctors who will explain the result and give you advice on what to do next. You will also be able to see your result in your mymedichecks dashboard.
Depending on the test you have had and the results that come back from the laboratory, a doctor may advise you to have a repeat test or recommend another one of our tests to you. All of this information will be securely displayed on your mymedichecks portal which allows you to track and monitor your results.
You do not need a doctor’s referral to order the majority of our tests. Any tests with special requirements have a note on the test page asking you to contact our customer services team before you purchase the test. We will not share your results with your doctor, although if you wish to do so you can download a PDF version of your results to take to your doctor.
You can search for a clinic near you using our find a clinic tool. If we do not have a clinic convenient for you give us a call on 03450 600 600 to discuss alternative options, including our home visit blood draw service.
We do not offer testing services outside of the UK.
If you have any further questions about any of our tests please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team on 03450 600 600 and they will be happy to help.