Fingerprick blood test tips please!

Hi, following advice kindly given here, I bought a Blue Horizon Thyroid+10 test. The pack arrived and despite using all 3 lancets, I only managed to collect a drop of blood - around a third of the way up the label on the container. The lady at Blue Horizon said that wasn't enough, and another kit has now arrived.

Do you have any tips for making sure the blood flows well please? Last time I was probably too cold, and should have had a drink of water beforehand, but any other ideas will be gratefully received. :D

13 Replies

  • Hi

    Put your hands in a bowl of very warm water for a couple of minutes, then dry them and keep the hands downwards so the blood flows to the fingers.

    This worked for me, good luck.


  • Thanks Browny. 

  • I do what Browny suggests too. :)

    Plus, make sure that the surface you're working on is lower than your hand, if you see what I mean. Make sure you're not reaching upwards to fill the vial.

    A couple of glasses of water are a good idea.

    And make sure you hold the tip of the lancet firmly against your finger and resist the understandable urge to pull away! 

  • Thanks Jazzy - another top tip. I was leaning on my elbows last time, so hands up.

  • Also your body must be dehydrated, so the day before and morning of drink plenty of water (not too much).

  • Hi lines, standing up with arm straight down seems to help flow of blood for me. 

  • Here are some suggestions from a website giving advice to diabetics, checking their sugar glucose levels each day.  Maybe they will help?

    "3. Use any or all of the following tips for bringing more blood into your fingertips:

    * Rub the spot on the finger you are going to lance until it becomes warm.

    * Shake your hand down at your side, like shaking a thermometer, so the blood collects in your fingertips.

    * Wrap a doubled-up rubber band as a small tourniquet around the middle joint of your finger, using your thumb to hold it down while you lance. The tip of the finger will become engorged with blood. After you lance your finger, release the rubber band to let the blood flow in."

    It was also suggested to use the side of the fingers to draw blood.    "Use the sides of the fingers, not the center. The sides of the fingers have fewer nerves than the center pad of the fingertips, so they hurt less when they are lanced. The sides also have more blood vessels close to the surface, so you don't have to lance as deeply to get a large-enough drop of blood."

  • I do all the above, stand, warm hands - well warm body, I usually do it straight from bed in the morning and put on warm slippers so that I'm not standing on a cold flor -   drink water, elastic band on finger, I also do the side of my finger and I know it sounds weird but I put the lancet on the side of my finger - I find my ring finger and little finger best , the middle finger is ok too - then I always close my eyes and for some reason I  find it helps to grit my teeth as I do it. I've got the opposite problem to you, I fill the little tube then drip all over the place. Just relax and try not to worry. 

    Don't squeeze hard to get blood out, they used to say to 'massage' the finger up towards the tip but they don't say that any longer. I definitely don't think squeezing it hard to try and get blood out helps though. Good luck. Before you start lay everything out in the order you will need to use it rather than have to start searching about as you go along. 

  • Lots of good replies! I used to work with medical students who struggled so yes keep well hydrated, warm and we told the students to whirl their arm around so the the force fills the fingers. The nail bed is a good spot though can be more painful but  has plenty of blood there and has the added bonus of being in a place less likely to pick up an infection. 

    The best method if you have a friend to help is the ear lobe. Not often used by the medical profession now as it doesn't stop bleeding easily! 

    DONT squeeze the blood out as it may not give an accurate reading for some tests.  

  • Whereabouts on the earlobe, Silverfox? In the middle as if you were piercing it, or on the edge as with a finger?

  • The fleshy bit in the middle where you would put your earring. 

  • I disagree with people saying have a glass of water, as I find that cools me down. Drink plenty of water earlier on, but when it comes to the test I have a mug of hot water - I would have tea if I was sure it wouldn't interrupt the fasting. And definitely warm the hands in water and use a tourniquet as they instruct. I also March around the room a few times to get my blood pumping. 

  • Thanks everyone, had another bash this morning, following all the tips. Had to use 5 lancets this time (I seem to stop bleeding after 1 drop of blood) and managed to get around 3/4 of the way up the label on the little bottle. (Perforated) fingers crossed this will be enough.

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