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How Do I Collect A High Quality Blood Sample?

Your home test kit will contain full instructions for usage, but to help ensure everything goes smoothly here are some tips on collecting the best and easiest samples.

Collecting Your Sample

Firstly, check the product page or your original order detail for any specific requirements relating to your test e.g. you may need to fast beforehand.

Then, make sure that:

1) Your body is nice and warm (e.g after a shower or brisk walk)

2) You take your time and don't squeeze your finger too hard

3) You gently invert the sample several times when you have finished

Why Is This Important?

By being warm your circulation will push blood into the capillaries in your extremities i.e. your fingers. This makes the blood flow better and will help you fill your sample tube easily.

Don't squeeze hard, just gently milk your finger, or you can burst your red blood cells. This is known as haemolysis and can affect sample viability.

Inverting the sample tube mixes your blood with the anticoagulant inside. This is coated on the tube walls so you won't see it, and helps ensure that your sample does not clot in the post. Do this gently so as not to cause haemolysis.

Finally if your sample tube contains a translucent gel plug at the bottom then don't worry, that is perfectly normal too! This is used to help separate the blood cells from the fluid (serum) once your sample arrives at the lab.

Dr. Kate Bishop | University of Birmingham

Last Updated 19th September 2020

By Dr. Kate Bishop

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