Anyone else not able to fill Blue Horizon's tube?

I have failed to produce enough blood to send to Blue Horizon. They have been very good about it and will either refund me or send a testing kit which needs someone (who knows what to do) to extract blood from me.

Has anyone else had this problem? How did you deal with it?

It will take me several hours to drive to their centre, and as I will be charged for the process this pushes the cost over my budget. I was taking the test as a preventative measure to add to my knowledge - not because I feel particularly unwell.

My Dr's surgery only does an anual TSH then says "its OK" and I have to make a fuss to get a number. I wondered about taking the Blue Horizon kit in and asking them to use it for my anual test - only this time I give the surgery the results. Has anyone tried this?

24 Replies

  • Did you do all the things which are recommended to get the blood out. Make sure you are hydrated, warm and hold your arm down? I did all these and it worked a treat but previously, i had to go and ask the local private hospital to draw blood, which cost me £15 as i had failed to get enough out of my finger.

    holding my arm down and being warm made the difference this time.

    You can certainly ask at your docs.... Probably best to make an appointment with the nurse and put her on the spot by presenting her with the kit. She might be ok with it...

    Good luck....

    G x

  • Have you read this? Does it help?

  • Spot the error in photo 2!

  • Do not recall even seeing an elastic band and I used two fingers.

  • With regards to getting a number for your TSH, you are entitled to this as it is your personalinformation. Have you tried writing to your GP to ask for you number. They will be sure to give it once you do that.

  • Last time I phoned in and asked for it, but they don't test for anything else.

  • Yes thank you, I did everything it said, each time from scratch, but I was nervous about and i feel I would like another go, but they said there was no point.

  • No point?? I'm surprised. The first time I tried the finger-prick method I also failed abysmally. I'd gotten the kit from another company, not BH nor Medichecks, can't recall who but not one that's mentioned on this forum. Anyhoo. I emailed them that I couldn't fill the tube and they weren't particularly helpful in the way of offering more advice as to how to get the blood flowing. They actually said 10000 people had used it successfully and made me feel as if I was the only person who couldn't do it! They did refund me, however.

    After that experience I changed to Blue Horizon and found far more helpful info in the notes that came with the kit (also true for the Medichecks kits). I realised I wasn't hydrated enough, I could have done with moving around more beforehand, should have taken the blood standing not sitting, etc etc. So I tried again and voila! Far more successful and managed to easily fill the tube.

    So don't give up, give it another try. :)

  • Thank you, I did feel very feeble about it, but Blue Horizon did not add to that feeling.

    They did say they don't send out replacement finger pick tests, but will send a blood draw kit if I want. The long drive and extra cost are putting me off that option.

  • I have made appointments for blood draws and got the NHS to fill my private test tubes, no problem, no one said anything. As long as you have tubes and paperwork the nurse didn't care.

  • By paperwork do you mean the stuff from Blue Horizon which comes with the kit?

  • yes.

  • it helps if you go for other routine bloods at the same time, have you had your cholestrol etc done recently? They love that, you could ask a GP for that then make an appointment if concerned that they won't do it otherwise.

  • I too have failed miserably, drawing only a few drops of blood despite following all their instructions and advice on this forum.....

    So it's off to the clinic for a full blood draw by the nurse (and an extra £35)


  • Sorry to hear it, but comforted that there are at least 3 of us. :-)

  • I too have failed...twice. My blood seems to get sticky very quickly. BH were very helpful and sent out another test kit. I still have credit with them - don't live in the UK and when I visit, I'm a good 45 minutes from a hospital that could do the draw. Next time I'm over I may contact my parents' GP. You never know....

  • I couldn't get any blood either despite following all the helpful instructions. I was sent the vacutainer and phoned my surgery and asked them if the nurse would take the blood for a private test. They said yes and there is no charging policy so I have had them take blood 3 times now without charge.

  • I really struggled the first time and had to go at my finger with a (sterilized of course) needle as I had used their prick things up. I got about half a tube which was just enough. The next time I made sure I was really warm by having a very hot bath before taking the sample. They had also sent three of the pin prick things not two which luckily I didn't need. The blood came out beautifully the first time!

    I would suggest ringing them up and saying that you are a huge distance from anywhere that draws blood and can they resend the test with extra finger prick things and then spend half an hour in the hottest bath you can stand before you retry and follow the instructions about the rubber band on only one finger. Also do remember to do the test before eating anything first thing in the morning.

    Good luck it is helpful to know as much as possible about this condition.

    If blue horizon will not resend the kit consider having the full works done including reverse T3 as this is only possible with the assisted blood draw. I wish I had had it done last time as I feel the extra information may be helpful to me now as I'm really struggling with increasing my levothyroxine.

  • I am the opposite. I can do the finger prick test half asleep and get blood all over. Looks like a massacre. For me the trick is to wrap something around my shoulder and blood comes out nice. Its like faucet. Bleedind stops when i unwrap my shoulder and stop rubbing/squeezing my finger( I do it very gently). Might not work for everyone.

  • I don't know if anyone has tried this, but if you have someone to help you you could try using your ear lobe to get blood from. The ear lobe usually bleeds very freely.

  • I've had a few spills and thrills trying to do it. Definitely do all the advice on the pack, including soaking in hot water, using the rubber band, I tend to add jumping about a bit to get things warned up, spinning my arms around.

    A problem I had last time was that the lancets seemed more tricky than before. I ended up with my first prick being perhaps very shallow and didn't drip. My second was completely different and flowed well. So it's possible to get a poor lance as well as blood that won't flow.

  • Agree with other helpful suggestions from BH as well as the other posters. I like to do it early morning, straight out of bed when I'm nice and warm. I even put on slippers so my feet as well as my dressing gown to make sure I'm really warm. Get everything ready the night before too so that you know what you're going t be dong.

    I know it's probably weird but I've found that it helps not to look when I prick my finger - I put it in positiothe look away and grit my teeth as I press and it seems I get a deeper hole. Sounds grim doesn't it but it isn't really.

    I have found that if I'm not careful I can end up with a 'bubble' of blood over the top of the tube which can be tricky so I'm going to try and remember to fill it from one side of the tube next time. Im sure the first times. I used them the test tube used to have a slight level bit in the past that you sort of 'milkedand I think that was easier.

    Although I do it to the side of my finger don't make the hole too close to your nail or all the blood runs down the crease and it's difficult to get into the tube. When that happens I end up with blood dripping everywhere but the tube.

  • I feel your pain!!- had exactly the same problem 3 weeks ago. I'm usually fine with blood tests but thought if I can do it from home even better. It took 5 fingers to fill up the tube and I think watching the blood drip out of me caused me to faint! It was comical in hindsight I suppose. I was on the floor with my husband holding my legs in the air to stop me from passing out with my finger in a funnel into the test tube. No words needed!! xx

  • Just sprayed my laptop with tea laughing! Well done getting something in the tube, there is nothing like determination.

    I feel much better about my "failure" it has been so helpful to read other peoples experiences and I would like to try again. Meanwhile I think I will phone the surgery and see if they will do it when I have my annual TSH test.

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