How To Obtain A Blood Sample For Home Test Kits

Mastering home blood testing: A comprehensive guide to obtaining precise blood samples

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on obtaining good blood samples for home test kits from a finger prick. Whether you're monitoring cholesterol levels, checking glucose levels, or conducting other health assessments, ensuring accurate blood samples is essential for reliable results. In this feature, we'll walk you through the process step-by-step, providing valuable tips for success.

Why accuracy matters

Accuracy is paramount when it comes to home testing kits. Reliable results empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Whether you're managing a chronic condition or simply conducting routine health checks, accurate blood samples are the foundation of effective home testing.

Understanding the process

Many home test kits typically require a small blood sample obtained through a finger prick. This type of blood sample is known as a capillary blood sample. While the process may seem straightforward, attention to detail and proper technique are crucial for accuracy. Let's explore the steps to ensure you obtain the best possible blood sample for your home test kit. 

Steps for success for obtaining a fingerprick blood sample:

  1. Hand Hygiene: Begin by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Clean hands reduce the risk of contamination, and the action of washing increases the capillary blood flow, ensuring the integrity of the blood sample.
  2. Only test when the fingers are warm and well perfused, massage the fingers in a downward motion from the palms to the finger tips for 30 seconds to fill the capillaries.
  3. Finger Selection: Choose a finger from your non-dominant hand for the blood draw. The ring finger or middle finger are commonly used for finger pricks, as they offer an adequate blood supply.
  4. Alcohol swabs are used in clinics to clean the selected lance site when it is not practical to wash and dry the hands. Alcohol hand sanitisers are a good alternative, but for home testing warm soap and water is best. Allow the area to dry completely before proceeding to prevent dilution of the blood sample.
  5. Lancet Preparation: Follow the instructions provided with your home test kit to prepare the lancet device. This device will be used to prick your finger and collect the blood sample. Lancet depth and thickness vary. If the test requires a large volume sample, ensure you are using the correct lancet which produces an adequate bleed. The lower the number the ticker the lance, so a 21g lance is best for cholesterol testing, where a 30g is fine for the tiny sample needed for a glucose test.
  6. Pricking Technique: Position the lancet against the side of your fingertip and support the tissue so the lance will penetrate fully and press the button or trigger to puncture the skin. Press firmly and do not be timid. Aim for a controlled prick to minimise discomfort and ensure a steady blood flow.
  7. Blood Collection: Hold your finger below heart level to encourage blood flow. Allow the blood droplet to form naturally if possible. You may gently massage the proximal finger to generate a steady stream of blood but you should avoid squeezing the fingertip as this can dilute the sample and affect the blood test result. Some tests require using the second droplet of blood for accurate results, if this is in the instruction, use a tissue to wipe away the first droplet and let a second form to use for the test. If no second drop forms you have either not lanced deep enough, or used too fine a lancet
  8. Test Kit Application: Carefully apply the blood sample to the designated area on the test kit or test strip. Follow the test kit instructions on where to place the sample exactly to ensure proper absorption and accurate blood test results.
  9. Follow Instructions: Depending on your test kit, you may need to put the strip into a meter to read the results or perform additional steps to complete the test. Wait for a specified duration to read the results of the home blood test. Always adhere to the provided instructions meticulously for reliable results.

Watch our guide on using pipettes to transfer blood into Cholesterol & Haemoglobin test which require 35uL samples

Its easy when you know how

Obtaining a good quality blood sample for home test kits is a straightforward process when done correctly, but takes a bit of practice. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure accurate results and proactive health management. Remember, accuracy is key to empowering yourself with valuable health information from the comfort of your home.

Further help and guidance

For further guidance in obtaining the optimal blood sample for your home test, explore our FAQs below, view our instructional videos which are embedded in the products, or contact our customer support team for assistance.

For further information and access to high-quality home test kits, visit our home testing section of our website. Empower yourself with the tools and knowledge to take control of your health today.

Stay informed, stay healthy, with home test kits

How to obtain a fingerprick blood sample for home testing information page written by Dr Kate Garside

Date of Approval: 14/5/24

Date of last update 14/5/24

Next Review Date: 14/5/25

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Can you use a lancet without an auto lancing device?

A lancet can be used alone or with a lancing device. Many people find it easier to obtain a finger prick blood sample if they use the lancet in a lancing device.

Most of our meters are supplied with starter packs of lancets and some with safety lancets. We suggest you continue to use the same lancets recommended by the manufacturer if possible. If you are struggling to get adequate samples move to a thicker lance, ie 21g is thicker than 28g or 30g (the thinnest)