Tips needed to get blood for finger prick medic... - Thyroid UK

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Tips needed to get blood for finger prick medichecks test

jsy_girl profile image

I really struggle to get a good flow of blood going and my medichecks test errored with the last sample.

I’ve asked for more of the lancets this time but surely there’s a way...

I’ve read about putting an elastic band round your middle joint of finger but I don’t really understand that if anyone can explain?

Will also stop vitamin D For 2 days before and drink plenty water before.

I always shower and then do some jogging on spot so that’s never worked.

Anything else I can try?

EDIT———-

I’ve just done my test and it worked AMAZINGLY- thank you all so much for your tips and advice. I got so much blood from finger one I went slightly over the line. It was a blood bath. I couldn’t be happier.

I went with:

Stop vitamin D

Drink a

Ridiculous amount of water yesterday

Drink about a litre when I woke up

Showered

Whilst in slippers and dressing gown and still warm I submerged hand repeatedly in bowl of hot water for 2 mins

I did windmill arms

I positioned blood tube on low side table

I used lancet on little finger left hand between tip and nail bed on outside of finger and gritted my teeth and push with a slight twisting action

Wiped away first drop

Massive drop forming

Dropped finger so arm straight down and over the tube and it flowed like water

SO HAPPY. One lancet only! Thank you all 😁😁😁😁😁

21 Replies

The tight elastic band makes the fingertip become engorged with blood and you release it after using the Lancet. I tried this. Also twisting the Lancet enlarges the cut. I even took a couple of aspirin to thin the blood. In spite of all this I was unsuccessful. I have TED with double vision so positioning the narrow tube to catch a drop was impossible. I was testing for VitD so I tried another lab which only required 4 spots which I managed no problem. However, I realised I had my arm hanging down straight and the blood was flowing freely. When I had tried before I had my arm bent to see clearer. So perhaps try to keep arm straight. Good luck and if you know any diabetics ask them for a few spare lancets !

jsy_girl profile image
jsy_girl in reply to asiatic

Yes that’s the tricky bit. Seeing what you’re doing with it being straight down and then managing to funnel it into the vile. I’ll give it a go! Thanks

Hi... I found the first few times were difficult. Now I hold my hand in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes or have a bath before hand — no problem with blood flow... get a full tube quickly and in one go.

And giving the lancet a good twist helps, too.

Hope that helps.

B.

jsy_girl profile image
jsy_girl in reply to BShankly

Ouch to twisting the lancet haha. I’ll try the bowl thing! One go would be a dream!

BShankly profile image
BShankly in reply to jsy_girl

Yup... I got really anxious because the first few times were a bit of an ordeal... now I don't mind at all. Good blood flow, and twisting the lancet at the side of the finger doesn't hurt... it's more of a pinch than a cut.

B.

I know it's an extra £30 but I find getting the blood draw done at my local hospital much less unpleasant! I tried the lancets once / pricked every finger practically - was covered in sticky blood but virtually nothing in the tube and it was all coagulated so useless. Trickis NOT to squeeze your finger, I hear, but it was so yucky I've given up doing it on my own now!

jsy_girl profile image
jsy_girl in reply to JAmanda

I feel similarly but the whole idea of this is to compare a blood draw by finger prick from some done in the summer for a comparison with nhs tests. If however I can find a way to get plenty of blood out of me I might continue with at home tests as it is convenient!

I had same problem had to have packs resent eventually managed by piercing on side of finger but still in pad then I could push down on pad with my thumb and wiggle it a bit wait until a big bubble forms before trying to put in pot

used to do finger prick testing as a specialist nurse. Concur with making sure the finger is nice and warm and looks pink . Once the finger has been pricked, put the lancet down, and (presuming you're right handed and have pricked the left finger) , with hand facing up over, and as low as possible, use your thumb to apply pressure to the finger pad just behind where the skin is broken. Try and get a nice "blob" of blood on the surface before turning the hand over and dropping the blood into the tube. We used to use a capillary transfer tube, which is a short, very very fine glass tube. You put a finger over the end of the tube and place the other end just on the surface of the blood and it rises up the capillary tube. When you take your finger off the end of the tube the blood will drop into the sample tube. You need to be fairly quick once the blood is in the capillary transfer tube.

You can buy them online and some of them are inside a plastic tube with a squeezy bulb on the end. physioparts.co.uk/acon-hb-c...

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator

These are the tips I post regularly:

* Be well hydrated, drink plenty of water the day before, and before you do the test.

* Some people take a shower before hand, some run up and down the stairs to get blood flowing. Personally, as I can't run up and down the stairs, I circle my arm round, windmill style.

* Have a bowl full of hot water, dip hand in and out, swish around, hand needs to go red. If blood flow stops, you can always swish round in the hot water again. I'd make sure there's enough water to include your wrist as well. Have the water as hot as you can stand it.

* Stand up to do the test. Make sure your arm is straight down when collecting the blood. Either use a small step stool to raise yourself well above the work surface, or put the collection tube on a lowish shelf. One member uses an ironing board so she can get the perfect height.

* Prick finger on the side, not the tip. I find that half way between the nail bed and tip is about right, or maybe slightly nearer the nail bed rather than the tip. I use my ring finger, but middle finger is next best for me.

* Do not squeeze your finger to get the blood out, it can damage the blood and it may not be usable

I've recently done 2 tests. The first one there was very little blood coming out which was unusual for me so I used a second finger and between the two I gradually filled the tube. However, when I checked the prick site for the first finger the actual cut was very small and as I've had some of these lancets fail before I put it down to that. When I did the second test this is what I did

* Prick my finger as usual, at the same time try and make a very slight twist with the lancet (the blade retracts very quickly so you have like a nano second to twist the lancet). I'm not talking 90 degrees or anything, just a very slight twist to make the cut just slightly bigger, it doesn't hurt or cause a blood bath! This made a big difference, 11 generous drops of blood filled the tube in less 2 minutes.

Video showing how to do a fingerprick test:

youtube.com/watch?v=w2JzToZ...

Thanks SeasideSusie your precision in describing where you do the cut is helpful as I’ve realised I’ve maybe been doing it too close to the first joint. I always do the side but it’s probably halfway down the top section of your finger. Your description there is to do it much much closer to the tip of the finger. I wonder how much difference that actually could make but it’s certainly something different for me to try.

Will def try the hot bowl of water too.

Also I wouldn’t have consider I need to twist as I puncture so I’ll try this too. Thanks so much for your reply. I did try searching for older posts but for some reason couldn’t find them.

After failing with two consecutive tests - despite trying all of the tips - and having to pay to have my blood drawn on both occasions, I finally came up with a cheaper answer than the hospital route: I bought some thicker gauge lancets from eBay.

The ones I bought were Unistik 3 Extra, with a use-before date at least three years away, so good for a few tests. I find they work really well and don’t hurt any more than the usual ones provided, though be prepared for a bit of excess blood!

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Thalia56

Great info on extra lancets .....been looking for some for ages

Just been on eBay and ordered

👍

Thalia56 profile image
Thalia56 in reply to SlowDragon

Oh, I'm so glad that was helpful! I hope they work for you.

Hi there. I had real problems getting a big enough sample using the instructions provided by medichecks but I found the instructions provided by monitor my health much more successful. There is a video on monitor my health's website you can view even without making a purchase. I agree with the instructions Seaside Susie provided. The main things I found that helped where standing up to do the test, soaking hands in a bowl of hot water, NOT using an elastic band, drinking a pint of water 30 minutes before doing the test as first thing in a morning your blood is thicker because you have gone several hours during the night without fluid. I also found piercing the outer edge of little finger to be the best place and the video I mentioned shows well the right place to use. I pre sterilized a couple of pins to use in case I needed extra stabs (which I did with the medichecks instructions). Hope you have a hassle free blood extraction

😁

You have loads of good tips here. I always do mine straight from bed when I’m nice and warm. I have a big glass of water, soak my hands in hot water. I sometimes jog on the spot and wave my hands around. I like to wear warm slippers too - don’t ask me why but I find warm feet help.

I always do mine standing up. I tend to use the ring finger on my left hand. I don’t do it too close to the edge of my finger because I find the blood runs down the side of my nail which for me makes it harder to get in the tube.

I hold the lancet really firmly onto my finger, I grit my teeth hard (weird I know but it works for me) and I press the lancet hard. I also hold the little tube in my other hand just at where I’ve made the hole and sort of ‘milk’ it up the length of, but without squeezing my finger. I could never manage to ‘aim’ the drop into the tube if I didn’t hold it close.

Years ago you used to be provided with a small elastic band to put on your chosen finger but no more. You should also have been given more than one lancet. Might be worth ordering by phone and asking fir a few extra lancets.

Good luck, if you follow all the advice you’ve got from everyone here it ought to work. Sometimes my bathroom looks like I’ve done a chainsaw massacre when I get my blood flowing so good luck, relax and go for it 😉

I’d love a chainsaw massacre result haha. Thank you. I’ve asked for more so have six which takes the pressure off at least. I’m def going to try a bowl of water and today am doubling my water intake. Do you do it more on the pad of your finger then? Or just a little further from the nail but still towards the side?

I do it right on the pad now. I used to do it more towards the side of the nail but I found the blood ended up in the groove between my nail and my finger which made it difficult to get it into the little tube.

Good luck with it. Position the lancets shut your eyes, clench your jaw and push hard on the lancet. 🤞

I always struggle, I can only just cope with a Monitor your Health thyroid test. I cannot cope with Medichecks I need to go to the hospital for a venus draw. My problem is not helped by diabetic testing over years and Raynaurds. Diabetic lancets are not really helpful for more generous blood draw are they are so fine, literally a pin prick so only a slow blob at a time. The blood draw lancets are more generous. I need to drink an extra 2-3 litres each day before blood draw, like SeasideSusie I do the windmill arm and hot water to hand, I stand up with straight arm and collect into the tube on a low table. Good luck.

I read a few years ago that if you have hypothyroidism you have less blood volume too this makes it difficult to have blood tests done which I find true I cant get enough for finger prick tests and even my arm blood tests prove difficult with sometimes several attempts by the nurse before its successful. Also this is why our levels for cholesterol and other tests are not great its so frustrating.

I run my finger under hot water first. It seems to come out ok with that x

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