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laboratory services frequently asked questions

Laboratory Services

Phone: 603-663-3555

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I go to any of the satellite stations to have my blood drawn?

Yes. All of our sites are available to you. Please check the sites' hours on our main page. Semen analysis testing is the only specimen that must be collected at home and delivered to the laboratory at the Elliot Hospital within an hour of collection and between the hours of 7am and 11am. Contact the Lab to schedule an appointment, 603-663-3555.

Q. Do I need an appointment to have my blood drawn?

Only for Glucose Tolerance Testing. These tests take approximately three hours so you will be given a date & time from your physician's office. Your physician's staff will set this appointment up for you.

Q: My test asks me to be fasting, what does this mean?

In most cases fasting is not eating or drinking twelve to fourteen hours prior to testing. Patients can only have water. However, fasting can vary and if there is any question you should contact your physician's office to verify what they would like you to do.

Q: Should I take my medicine prior to my blood work?

Please contact your physician's office.

Q: Can I get a copy of my results?

Yes. At the time of your blood work ask the phlebotomist for a medical release form. We will be happy to mail the reports to your home once completed. If you have already had your work done just stop by our main laboratory on the ground floor of the hospital. Our staff will be happy to print a copy as long as you have some identification with you.

Q: How long will it take before my physician has results?

The answer to this can vary a great deal depending on the nature of the testing, processing time, etc… All work will be forwarded to your physician in a timely manner. Stat testing or critical work is prioritized and your physician will be contacted immediately.

Q: How do I collect a specimen?

Click on the following link: Home Help for Specimen Collections

Q: If it only takes a very small amount of blood for the test, why do you need to draw a whole tube? How much blood is in the tube?

The specimen is collected in a tube that is a standard size designed to fit into analyzers and be easily handled by the phlebotomist during the draw. The quantity of blood taken is somewhat more than needed to ensure there are sufficient amounts for any repeat testing needed to confirm a result and to prevent you from having to return for another draw.

Blood tubes come in different sizes. Some hold as little as 2 ml (2/5 of a teaspoon), some hold as much as 10 ml (2 teaspoons). Most hold around 5 or 6 ml's (one teaspoon = 5 ml). Capillary collection tubes, as used for babies, hold 0.25 ml to 1.0 ml.

Q: How much blood is in my body?

The average adult weighs about 154 pounds, which makes the total volume about 5 liters, or 5.3 quarts.

Q: Does having my blood drawn hurt?

Usually it feels much like a pinch. (Stubbing your toe is much worse!) Try to hold your arm still, straight, and close your fist. This will reduce the minor discomfort.

Q: Why do some people faint from having their blood drawn?

An involuntary reaction in the brain causes the blood pressure to drop temporarily. Outpatients are more likely to faint than inpatients because they are usually sitting up during the procedure. If you tend to get lightheaded from blood testing or you are already feeling weak from fasting or illness you should request to have your blood drawn while in a reclining position. This will help prevent or minimize fainting and avoid injury due to falling. Our staff will appreciate the communication.

Questions Not Answered :

If your questions have not been answered, please contact your physician for further instructions. You can also phone our Client Services department at (603) 663-3555.