Blood Draw Preparation
Before Your Blood Test
Dr. Wehling should let you know whether you need to fast prior to having your blood drawn. If you’re not sure, confirm any requirements with your us beforehand.
Fasting for a blood test entails avoiding all food and beverages (except for water) for 8 to 12 hours prior to the test. Drink plenty of water and take your medications as usual. Note that a small number of tests have stricter requirements, such as the H. pylori breath test, which involves consuming nothing, including water, for one hour prior to the test.
Tip: Come prepared with snacks. If you’re fasting, head to the lab early in the morning and bring a healthy snack to eat following the test.
Many people believe they should avoid water before a blood draw, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Drinking water will not only make you feel better if you’re fasting, it will also make for a smoother blood draw. Blood is about 50 percent water, so the more water you drink, the plumper your veins become and the easier it is for the doctor or nurse trained to draw your blood–to locate your veins and remove blood.
Urine tests are frequently ordered along with blood tests, and the fuller your bladder, the easier it will be for you to provide a sample.
Tip: Get a head start on hydration. Drink extra water beginning the day before your blood draw to ensure you’re adequately hydrated he day of the draw.
Having an unusual test done and wondering whether your insurance will cover it? We recommend calling your insurance to find out. If you have questions about how to do that, our staff can assist you. If you don’t have insurance or discover that your insurance will not cover the cost of a test, let us know so we can discuss payment options with you. Some of the labs we work with provide considerable discounts if you pay upfront at the time of service.
What to Expect During the Draw
No one looks forward to getting their blood drawn, but the procedure is usually brief and uneventful. Most people are in and out of the lab room in under 15 minutes. The doctor or nurse will begin by gently pressing his or her fingers against your skin to locate the best vein. Then he or she will clean the area with an alcohol pad, tie a tourniquet around your upper arm to increase blood flow, ask you to make a fist, and insert the needle.
Tip: Chatting helps. We make a point of engaging you in conversation to help you relax so that the needle prick is a little less painful. Chat up your doctor or nurse and distract yourself from the draw.
Our phlebotomist and Dr. Wehling are skilled at drawing blood from a variety of patients. Some veins are trickier to draw from than others. To coax out a shy vein, we might tighten the tourniquet, spend additional time palpating your veins, or place a warm pad against your skin. Taking the time upfront to locate the best vein is time well spent. Our goal is to draw your blood as easily and painlessly as possible–and only once! If the draw is not successful after two sticks, we may recommend that you come back another day or have the draw done at LabCorp near 56th and South St.
Tip: Know your limits. If you’ve fainted in the past or have a phobia of needles, let us know right away. We can position you so you’re less likely to faint, keep the needle out of your line of sight, or use the right words to soothe you during the draw.
After Your Blood Test
After the blood draw is completed, we will remove the needle, hold gauze against the puncture site, and ask you to apply pressure. Applying pressure directly following a blood draw mitigates the common side effect of bruising.
Even with these precautions, minor bruising and swelling around the puncture site can occur. Because every person’s veins are different, and veins move frequently, bruising can occur even with the most experienced blood draws. If you do bruise, it should go away within a few days.
Blood Test FAQs
Do I need to get yearly blood tests?
Only if it makes sense based on your health history. At Abundant Life Family Chiropractic we don’t order a standardized set of tests for every patient. Instead, providers test only for select concerns based on your symptoms, personal and family history, and risk factors. Testing only for specific concerns rather than ordering every test under the sun helps ensures that you won’t end up receiving potentially harmful treatments for diseases you don’t have. It should also help keep your health care costs lower.
If you’ve developed new symptoms, have experienced significant lifestyle changes, or are interested in getting a particular test done for any reason, book an appointment with us so you can discuss it together and determine whether a blood test is the best course of action.