Can't get blood from a finger prick, any tips? - Thyroid UK

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Can't get blood from a finger prick, any tips?


I've got a blood test kit from BH. I've tried for 2 days on the run to get a sample with no success. I've done this a couple of times before with no problems so I'm not sure why I'm not having any success this time.

I'm running my hand under warm water for a few minutes, shaking my arm around to get the blood flowing & nothing!

They're sending me a new kit today so I can try again. Does anyone have any tips that may help?

25 Replies

Make sure you are well hydrated, drink plenty of water the day before and also before doing the test. A bowl of hot water, not warm, swish hand around until it goes red. Prick side of finger. Stand on a stool so that your arm is straight down so that blood can drip from finger. Pop hand back into hot water if necessary, also use a different finger. If you take K2-mk7 then leave it off for a few days, K2 is not meant to be the blood clotting form but I find my blood flows a bit better if I leave off my K2. You can gently milk your finger if flow slows down.

Leave it until Monday now, don't send it off on a Thursday or Friday.

Good luck with your next test.

Hidden in reply to SeasideSusie

Oh my goodness, I sent a sample off last Friday, thought M-F was okay.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Hidden

No Cassie, posting on a Friday means the sample is hanging around over the weekend, and posting on a Thursday normal first class doesn't guarantee it will arrive on a Friday.

I always send mine back Special Delivery Guaranteed Next Next Day by 1pm and even then half the time it's taken 2 days so I claim the postage back under their guarantee.

Hidden in reply to SeasideSusie

Crikey, it gets worse. Why on earth would Medichecks say its OK to post M-F when it hangs around for 2 days, surely that must affect results.

Unless I am having a senior moment, I just shove my sample straight into the postbox in the prepaid envelope and then log in the date sent on Medichecks website.

Hmn, so if you posted it on a Thursday and it took 2 days to get there and another 2 days hanging around over the weekend (and it was really hot weather), makes me wonder what condition the sample would be in.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Hidden

if you posted it on a Thursday and it took 2 days to get there and another 2 days hanging around over the weekend (and it was really hot weather), makes me wonder what condition the sample would be in.

There is a possibility that the blood could spoil, not a certainty, just a possibility.

Medichecks website gives this advice here but I can't remember what it actually says in the instructions sent in the kit.


3. Post to our laboratory

All of our test kits come with a pre-paid first class envelope to post your sample to the laboratory. It is important that the sample arrives the following day so it is always best to take your sample in the morning to meet the midday post. If you're worried that you can't rely on the post in your region, then we suggest you send it guaranteed next day delivery so that you can be assured that your sample will be arrive in good time.


And Blue Horizon say this on their website , and also mention it in their instructions sent with the kit

Outbound Postage Times

We cannot guarantee that your post will get to you on time if you do not choose the next day guaranteed delivery service. First class post by Royal Mail aims for next day delivery but can sometimes be 2-3 days, or more.

Return Sample Postage

You should aim to get your pathology sample back to the Laboratory in the provided envelope as soon as possible. We provide you with options at checkout that include a next day envelope back to the laboratory. Although we have restricted a number of profiles that are likely to haemolyse we do suggest that the best course of action to take is to get the sample back to the laboratory the next day using our guaranteed return envelope option or your own arrangements.

If you do not use a guaranteed next day service back to the laboratory (With you posting Monday to Thursday and the sample arriving at the laboratory (Tuesday to Friday) then we cannot guarantee that the blood will be testable due to clotting of the sample.


As above please do not take your sample on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday

Hidden in reply to SeasideSusie

Thanks so much for that information. I have just checked Medichecks instructions that came with the kit and there is no mention of the above - just says "Seal the envelope and post making sure you post on the same day as the sample is taken" . I suppose I should have looked at the website but its not something I thought to do, well not that bit anyway, just assumed the instructions would include all the information you needed.

I am really grateful for your time in highlighting this, makes me feel a bit stupid now especially as I had a very very unexpected thyroid test (can't remember what day I posted that one) but I know my last one was posted on a Friday. I really think that Medichecks should include this in the instruction kit and let everyone know that if it is posted on a Friday it won't be tested until Monday (if that is the case). I have just spent over £200 on these two tests - anyway nothing I can do now but again I am very grateful to you.

In future I will be using Blue Horizon, they do seem at least to cover all eventualities with the samples.

Many thanks

SilverAvocado in reply to Hidden

Generally their notes say to post early in the week. I've heard somewhere, I think from the BH representative, that thyroid hormones are quite robust in the blood and its not such a concern.

trelemorele in reply to Hidden

It is ok to send it on Friday.

I sent mine last Friday, got results on Tuesday mid day.

Great advice, as always, Susie.

I'll give it a go on Monday using your tips.

Hubby will think I've gone mad, stood on a stool in the bathroom, dripping blood out of my finger ;-)

Hi, I’ve just done a finger prick test this week. I’ve done a few in the past and I followed my usual routine. Put my hand in a bowl of water for a few minutes, I have the water as hot as I can stand it. No standing on a stool for me, doesn’t make any difference and too dangerous with my balance probs!

I wiped first drop of blood away then struggled to get the blood flowing! I gently squeezed the end of my finger without much success. So I gently squeezed from the base of the finger pushing towards the end of the finger. Blood was dripping so quickly I had to be quick to catch it in the bottle! The bottle was filled in no time.

Good luck.


Other than what Seaside Susie has said I don't have any more tips, except that my first try was on my middle finger and I had a hard job getting it to flow. I immediately tried my ring finger and so much came out I had a hard job stopping it.

Justliloldme in reply to Hidden

Another great tips, thanks x

I can’t do finger prIck tests as can’t get enough blood. If you really can’t get enough blood out having followed recommendations above, you call BH and they will send you a vacutainer kit FOC. You maybe able to get blood drawn at your GP for a charge, or BH can arrange for this, again for a fee.

Thanks Mini, I'm aware of this but I've done this a few times at home before, so I know it's possible, I just need to perfect my technique ;-)

I also struggled getting the blood to flow the first couple of times. I found that when the lance penetrates your natural reaction is to pull it away from your finger. Now I hold it against my finger and apply firm pressure so that the lance stays in for a split second longer and this helps to make a good cut for the blood to start flowing.


I believe they have changed the finger stabbing device and it doesn't cut as deep.

Perhaps ask for the older version bigger deeper cut device.

There was a post about this a while back

I gave up, when they switched to new device. Now pay to get private blood draw.

I did wonder if this was the case as I haven't had any problems before.

I've found you can buy the old devices on Amazon. Quite expensive, as they only come in boxes of 200, but similar to the price of one home visit. I haven't bought any yet, but plan to when my current supply runs out.

Here's a post I started in February about the change in lancet. There were a load of posts around that time, and most are linked in the thread. I ordered a set of tests recently, and asked for the old style lancets. Haven't checked inside yet to see if I got them.

What SeasideSusie recommends and I've also found that running up and down the stairs a couple of times, or jogging on the spot if you live in a flat or bungalow to get the heart a-pumping helped me massively for a good hefty blob that flowed nicely.

Also don't forget to stop biotin supplements, often found in B Complex tablets for a couple of days before your draw. Some labs use biotin as part of their testing and it can skew results if you have it in your blood sample.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to spongecat

And also stop vitamin K2 if you are taking it. Apparently it may affect flow of blood

BH lancets are not as good as they used to be. I had problems in January, fortunately I had unused lancets left from a previous test and had no problem getting blood with the old type lancet.

Is there any harm to taking a baby aspirin (81 mg) within 48 hours of collection to help the blood flow? With some lab tests they do not want anticoagulants. I do not know about this one.

Go out and prune some roses. Take the bottle with you. Job done.

Or is that only me that ends up looking like they have murdered someone? :)

haha, it's ridiculous isn't it?

I feel I'd be better slicing my finger open with a knife - at least I'd get enough blood that way!

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