What you Need to do for a Fasting Blood Test

November 12, 2012

What you Need to do for a Fasting Blood Test

Like any other assignment you need to prepare for your fasting blood test. Years ago you could have your test done at your doctor’s office but today you need to go to a diagnostic center which could be way across town so you need to find out where to go. You’ll need to fast (not eat) for some period of time before you go for your test. You’ll need to wait in the waiting room until your called go give blood. You’ll have to wait for your results. Quite often you will be contacted by the diagnostic center to let you know your results have been sent to your doctor. Then you need to set up an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the results. The fasting blood test is a simple procedure but it can be time consuming.

Having fasting blood tests done is a normal part of preventative and diagnostic procedures that your doctor will do. The person who draws your blood is known as a phlebotomist. If you have any questions about blood testing, this is the time to ask. A phlebotomist is well trained and certified to do this procedure and can help yo with any concerns you might have.

Depending on what the blood test is testing for you may need to fast for 12 to 14 hours the day before you draw blood. Your doctor will let you know the details. Generally, your doctor will give you a requisition that lists the tests that he/she wants you to have. Make sure to bring this with you when you go to the diagnostic center. If fasting is required, this means you can not eat or drink anything except water during that period. It is best to go for your blood test early in the morning simply because it is easier to fast over night.

If you are taking any blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin or any others, make sure to tell the phlebotomist so he/she known to stop all bleeding from the puncture site. After your fasting blood test, you may see some bruising where the needle went in but this is normal and nothing to worry about.

After you blood samples are analyzed, the results will be sent to your doctors office usually within 1 to 2 days. Delays are not uncommon so don’t get anxious over that. It could take a week or better. You healthcare provider will give you a call to set up an appointment to discuss your results. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you have a problem with injection site bleeding, bruising, rash, pain or swelling. You may be having an allergic response or acquired some infection. This could be serious so don’t delay in telling your doctor. Nosocomial infections are not uncommon with needles. Nosocomial infections are infections you acquire in a hospital or clinic.

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