A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test. For example, a blood test can be used to:
- assess your general state of health
- confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection
- see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are functioning
A blood test usually involves the phlebotomist taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm. The usual place for a sample is the inside of the elbow or wrist, where the veins are relatively close to the surface. Blood samples from children are most commonly taken from the back of the hand. The child's hand will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream before the sample is taken.
Blood tests at the surgery are carried out every weekday morning. We aim to offer convenient times for all patients, however we cannot book afternoon appointments as specimens are sent to the lab at 12:00.
Blood Taking Unit
Northampton General Hospital has a Blood Taking Unit located in Area H. This is a walk-in service provided for the community and hospital clinics, so no appointment is necessary.
Adult opening times are: Monday - Friday 7:00-16:30 and Saturday 7:30-12:00
Children's opening times are: Monday - Friday 8:00-11:30
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.