Completing a finger prick blood sample is a safe and common procedure, however there can be some side-effects during or after sample collection.
When you have your blood taken a tiny hole is left where the needle passed through the skin of your finger. This can lead to a small amount of bruising at the site of your blood test. Sometimes the bruising is accompanied by swelling. Using an ice pack can help to reduce the amount of swelling and pain that is experienced.
Infection happens more rarely. The needle will leave a small hole in the skin which may allow bacteria to cause a skin infection. You can help to prevent this by using the antibacterial wipe provided after your test, and then using the provided plasters to protect the finger tips. If you notice that you have redness developing around the blood test site in the days following the blood test then we recommend seeing a doctor so that they can assess whether there is an infection present.
A small amount of pain or discomfort is normal after a finger prick blood test. Sometimes pain can be more intense than expected, and there are a lot of nerve endings in your fingertips. You may find that your fingertips are tender for a few days after you have competed the test. This will in most cases resolve without any treatment. If it continues to worsen then you should see your doctor.
Feeling faint or dizzy during the procedure can occur. If you have experienced this in the past, you should consider sitting down when you complete the test, and ask a friend or family member to be with you if you are able to. If you start to feel faint or dizzy during the procedure, then you should stop. You should then either sit or lie down. You may find that raising your legs in the air helps too. These manoeuvres help to relieve the feeling of faintness by helping blood to flow to the brain.