Blood Draw

This is a procedure that involves taking blood from a vein for various types of testing.

This is a procedure that involves taking blood from a vein for various types of testing.

A blood draw, also known as venipuncture, is when blood is taken from a vein for various types of laboratory testing. Before drawing blood from your vein a tight band, called a tourniquet, will be placed on your arm. This is done to make your veins swell so it will be easier to find a good vein for blood drawing. After a good vein is found, a small needle will be inserted into the vein. Blood will flow from the needle into a small test tube that is airtight.

  • The usual place to insert the needle is the inside of the elbow.
  • In some cases, blood can be obtained by pricking a finger with a sharp instrument.

Blood may be taken from a vein to test for a variety of medical conditions and drug levels. In an adult, the blood sample is usually taken by placing a needle in a vein of the arm or back of the hand. If blood is taken from an infant, it is usually collected by pricking a finger or heel.

  • Some tests do not require any special preparation. However, some tests require you to stop eating for a certain number of hours or avoid certain medications before the test. There may also be other instructions you need to follow.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you take.
  • Make sure you follow all the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • Do I need to stop eating before the test and, if so, for how long?
  • Is there any other special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)


Also known as:

Lab Draw
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