Anyone been in for a blood test?: I've just had a text... - NRAS

NRAS

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Anyone been in for a blood test?

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S

I've just had a text from my GP asking me to book a blood test. I am on methotrexate and have tests every two months. I cancelled my last one which was due three weeks ago as I was wary about going in to the surgery until we knew what was going on, thinking I'd just rebook. Well, since then we've been lockdown-ed of course. Also I actually had symptoms of covid-19 (very slight temp, no cough but very breathless, lung pain, exhaustion etc) and was checked by my brave GP (in the car park, fully suited up - very surreal!) for signs of pneumonia - thankfully there were none and I'm slowly recovering, touch wood.

Here's the thing - with no tests available, I don't actually know that what I had/have is coronavirus, and I am - to be honest - scared stiff of having to go into the surgery where many other potentially infected people will have been.

Has anybody been to their surgery for blood tests since this began? I guess I am looking for some reassurance about what kind of measures were in place to protect you! Thank you!

PS Obviously I won't be going in until my 14 days of household isolation is over anyhow

44 Replies
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Mine was yesterday one patient at a time in the building - had to phone, arrange a time, ring bell - receptionist came at a distance asked me if I was expected - yes- ushered to only chair in large waiting area - collected by phlebotomist wearing a mask, asked if I felt well had any Covid symptoms - no - asked to turn away while she drew blood wearing gloves at a slightly disconcerting distance. All fine, out I went as quickly as possible, waving briefly at 3 GPs all laughing with each other social distancing outside their offices. No probs at all but then I certainly haven’t had Covid.

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to Hidden

Well that sounds reassuring - thank you!

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Hidden in reply to dawkin_S

😊

There's a recent thread "Blood tests during lock down" which might be useful - sorry but I don't how to do a link...

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to Boxerlady

Oh thank you boxerlady, I didn't spot that - I will take a look.

Yes I had to have a blood test before my Truxima review and asked for an appointment at my GP ssurgery. I was a bit anxious because I had been in self-imposed isolation since Friday 13th March as I had worked out I'm high risk. However I took all the precautions I could think of. I wore a mask, latex gloves and clothing I could take off and put in the washing machine as soon as I got home.

On arrival at the surgery I was stopped at the door, checked if I had an appointment, asked if I had any symptoms, told to use the hand gel dispenser and and shown into the waiting area. There were 3 other people in there and we sat well apart. The phlebotomist wore a mask, gloves and apron, took my blood sample and told me to go and use the hand dispenser again. The precautions taken at the surgery made me feel confident they were doing everything they could to protect me and them.

Once in my car I removed my gloves and put them in a plastic bag and drove home. It's 10 days since my blood test and I've had no virus symptoms.

Good luck with yours!

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to Lolabridge

Thanks Lolabridge, it sounds like they had got some good strategies in place. So glad you got in and out in one piece, as it were! xx

I went two weeks ago and I have to go again tomorrow (re increase in MTX dosage). I have been going every two weeks for three visits and after tomorrow it will be each month for three months then every three months. The main door is open and there is a desk inside and a receptionist asks you certain questions before you are allowed in. The Treatment Room is almost empty (just two at a time I understand) and that's it. They are taking precautions, as they should, but maybe you should ring before you go and explain how you have been feeling and tell them of your fears just to be on the safe side. Good luck.

Our Practice are screening by phone first a few days prior to appointment date & asked if you have symptoms in the meantime to call to let them know. I had my bloods done a couple of weeks ago, quarantine areas all over the general areas, reception & the lift. Questioned from the vestibule area a good way from the barrier the nurses asking the questions are behind & if ok they sanitise your hands. Sanitise again prior to using screen check-in, & after, then asked to hand sanitise again before exiting the premises.

As your GP called to say you need the blood test... you might not get your next Mtx prescription if you don’t have it .On Mtx the blood tests are important.

At the moment GP surgeries are screening all patients entering so it’s highly unlikely you would encounter anybody with an infection.

My surgery cancelled my blood tests. Told me to phone at end of May to book one after the 12 weeks lockdown. Then I had a letter from rheumatology saying tests should continue and I should call them if surgery couldn’t do them. I called surgery who said that a GP had checked and my tests have been ok and thought I would be ok to wait. They said that they would clarify with rheumatology and if necessary they would come to my house to do them! I’ve not heard back.

Hmm, it's so hard at the moment isn't it - I know my tests were gradually pushed out from once a fortnight to every couple of months when the results were consistently okay, but if your rheumatologist is saying you need tests, I'd assume they know better than your GP in this instance.

I'm still waiting for guidance on something from Rheumatology via my GP. I'm guessing they are snowed under at the moment but I'm thinking if I haven't heard I will call them after Easter. Might be worth chasing up next week if you still don't hear back? I expect some things are falling through the cracks at the moment. Good luck! xx

I had a letter today saying that I'll have a phone consultation with my rheumatologist on 20th April, so I'll ask her about it then. It certainly is confusing x

I went yesterday,tried to put it off but had to go. Asked pre appt. re symptoms of Covid asked the same by receptionist and nurse before being allowed into each area.

I Wore a mask and some vinyl gloves.(As well as clothes!)

Went to separate part of surgery .No other patient. Doors of surgery all open for fresh air . Nurse was gloved apron and masked .job done and out . In car I Removed mask ,and gloves disposed ,gelled my hands.

I was worried pre visit but felt the way the surgery had handled it was in a professional way

Bacharia profile image
Bacharia in reply to Cal48

Glad you remembered to wear clothes, Cal48!

Cal48 profile image
Cal48 in reply to Bacharia

May not of been allowed in otherwise!

I am definitely cancelling my blood test due next week. x

A few months ago i stopped going down the hospital to get my blood tests done. I got fed up of trying to book one apt. and there was never a apt when i needed one and the walk in like you used to just caused ages to wait to be seen. So now i pay £10 for a nurse to come in the house at my convenience to take my bloods. I think it is worth it as we don't have parking fees to pay and no wear and tear on the car either. So i feel it is so worth the £10. xxxx

TBird1 profile image
TBird1 in reply to sylvi

Having a nurse come to you sounds good! Out of interest how did you go about finding someone to do that??!

Thanks

sylvi profile image
sylvi in reply to TBird1

My local shop or you can look in your local spar or newsagents as well you will always find someone there.xxx

TBird1 profile image
TBird1 in reply to sylvi

Thanks!!

I went to my local hospital to have my bloods done and was very impressed with how they were protecting vulnerable patients needing blood work. I'm confident to say that I am sure my GP's practice will be much the same.

I went for my blood draw 2 weeks ago. I just go to the lab. There's usually at least 10 peeps waiting for their number to be called. But this time there was no one there. I walked in pulled a number didn't even get to sit in the waiting area. Was called to the technicians cube immediately. Asked if I had any symptoms, no, have I recently travelled, no.

The whole place was like a ghost town. I was in and out in 6 min. They disinfect the cube where I gave blood as I was leaving. I didn't feel unsafe like I thought I would.

No our surgery have cancelled routine blood tests so I am concerned what’s going on with my levels vas on mtx what are we supposed to do ??

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to RADOONE

Good question - that must be concerning for you. From the replies, it seems like most people are still going for tests, but some at an increased intervals, so every 3 months rather than every month. Are you able to get in touch with your rheumatologist perhaps?

Hi

I am also on methotrexate and usually have a blood test every month. Fortunately I don’t need to see anybody in person as it’s arranged over the phone, and I have about 3 / 4 envelopes ( the things they put the samples in ) in stock.

However when I went to have my blood test this month, the cottage hospital was closed until further notice? When I went home I phoned my surgery and left a message. Sometime later my doctor rings back and says ‘didn’t they tell you? The blood testing is rescheduled to every 3 months’.

I suppose we should get used to situations like this until the lockdown is eased.

Breathlessness

I’m going to the local cottage hospital today for my 3 monthly blood test. I’m sure it will be fine having read your other replies. I’m replying due to interest in the breathlessness symptom. I was in very close contact with a person who developed Coronavirus symptoms a few days after lockdown so I was sensitive about looking for symptoms in myself. I had no fever or cough but had 3 days of breathlessness and feeling unbelievably weary - needing to sleep in the afternoon as well as through the night. I’ve walked at very high altitude in the past and the sensation was exactly the same - needing to take lots of short shallow breaths as if my lungs had shrunk and couldn’t get enough oxygen. I’ve never had this sensation except at high altitude. I’m fine now but would love to know if it was Coronavirus. The antibody test can’t come soon enough.

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to Patty37

Yes that sounds very similar to what I've had - I've had no experience at high altitude, so I could only describe it as being like I was out of breath from running. At it's worst I felt like I'd run or climbed lots of stairs and was trying to draw a big breath, but could only take lots of small ones - very unpleasant. Glad to hear you feel better now! xx

I went 2 weeks ago and had to wait outside, fill in a short form on my phone and then was let in. No problems. I should make another appointment for 2 weeks time but haven’t done this yet. Think I’ll wait till nearer the time. Must say that I’ve never had a problem picked up by the blood test and the 4 week spacing, rather than 6 weeks, was due to sulfasalazine added 6 months ago.

It seems every surgery is slightly different but all are being very sensible. I would phone your surgery and ask what measures they’ve put in place.

When I went to my surgery for a blood test last week, the surgery door was locked with a big no entry sign. It said ‘if you have an appointment please wait outside and someone will collect you when they are ready. The receptionists are handing prescriptions out of the window and all appointments have to be made over the phone. If you wish to see a GP initially it will be a phone consultation.’

I waited outside , there was only 1 other man there so we stood at least 5 m from each other. The phlebotomist opened the door with gloves, apron & mask on. She handed me a mask which I had to put on before entering the building. I wasn’t allowed to touch doors, etc. She took my blood then She escorted me back out of the building.

I am on MTX and biologic benepali and mine are every 2 months, had mine at GP surgery 2 weeks ago just as lockdown was kicking in and they wore PPE, screened for temp before being allowed in and I was the on,y patient in there, advised not to touch anywhere and then left. I so far am ok so can now leave it till end of may/early June thankfully. I will book to get it done there again as was very easy and felt safe.

I had a blood test a few days ago, as was told that doctor can refuse prescribing methatrexate and check is vital.

The surgery had a one in one out policy

I wore my rubber gloves (bright pink), must have looked really funny.

Safety procedures were very reassuring.

Don't worry.

Arrived at surgery at pre-arranged time wearing mask & disposable gloves as instructed. Used intercom to inform of my arrival then went & sat in car.

Phlebotomist, in full PPE, called me & I went to the main door which she then unlocked to let me in. I was then asked to remove my gloves & place them in a bin outside. She then locked the outer door & asked me to wash my hands. Following this she asked if I’d had any symptoms of covid-19, which I hadn’t, then proceeded to take my temperature.

Unlocking the inner door we went through to the waiting room area locking the inner door behind us. I noticed that all the furniture in the waiting area had been removed. We then went to the only clinician room In use, as they were using the one patient at a time option.

Bloods taken as usual & fresh appointment made for one months time.

Left surgery with no concerns about safety, exiting using the same safety procedure.

Try not to worry to much as I’m sure they are as concerned about their own safety as much as ours.

Hi

I went yesterday I didn’t want to go but I’m same as you on methotrexate so I was made to go!

You only enter at the time of your appointment the receptionist came out in mask and gloves and apron asked if I had any symptoms of covid19 . I said no then she sanitised my hands and I went straight through no problems

Had one this monday, luckily i live next door to our local hospital and just wander in every other month for my blood tests.

Wow, what a response - thank you all so much! I do feel more reassured. That's what is so good about this forum - so many people in the same boat who can relate to how you feel. Thank you everyone. :)

I had a call from a Rheumy Specialist Nurse (after I had made contact to ask the question you are asking) she advised me that I should still have my blood tests because methotrexate is a very strong drug and we could experience a "blip" and not be aware..I went to my local hospital, on entrance I was stopped and asked questions before being allowed in, then asked to sanitise my hands, another nurse appeared to escort me to phlebotomy dept. Phlebotomist was gowned and had a mask and rubber gloves on, she used a disposable tourniquet, I was quite anxious about having to go out as I have been self isolating for 3 weeks. I saw on the news last night that a hospital in Sheffield is blood testing people in their car park and doing the test through the car window!! What a good idea meaning people don't have to enter the hospital..

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to agnesmay

That sounds like a great idea. This is what my GP did when they saw me last week - they came out to the car.

agnesmay profile image
agnesmay in reply to dawkin_S

Such a good idea, hopefully other hospitals and surgeries will adopt this practise..

I called my surgery yesterday as I’m due for my blood test, like you I wasn’t sure what’s happening I got an appointment for next week, but receptionist said if I had any symptoms between now and then to call them back but don’t attend!! Fingers crossed I won’t x

I had a blood test a week ago, temperature taken at entrance, one person as a time, wash hands as soon as I entered all staff with PPI, after each patient all services used cleaned down. Felt safe and secure, hope you feel reassured.

Hi! Yes, I had a blood test at my surgery on Monday - 4 days ago. Of course the arrangements at each surgery are different but I was really impressed. Those needing to see a nurse were directed to a separate area in the car park. I was told to stay in my car until called. The nurse called me on my mobile and I entered through the back door with no-one else around. I had been reassured that the room was kept especially clean. The nurse had PPE. Afterwards, I left through the same door and had no contact with anyone except the nurse. I would suggest that you call your surgery to find out what their arrangements are.

Hope it all works out.

Had test last Friday. Made an appointment for 2weeks time. Next day surgery cancelled it and said nurse would be coming out to my home!

dawkin_S profile image
dawkin_S in reply to Aliceeliza

Wow - that's good. I don't think I'll get that service but you never know!

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