Problems taking capillary blood sample?

We have a demonstration video on our website as well as tips on the instructions within the kit to advise you on the best way to collect your capillary blood sample.

The best tips are having hot shower before you take your sample (or holding a hot mug of tea) so your hands are warm. Sometimes having a friend to help can prevent spillages or collecting all the precious blood drops into the micro-container. The process can take a few minutes to do, so be patient. Try to avoid squeezing the punctured area – massage the full length of the finger working from the base of the finger/close to the palm down to the fingertip in a milking motion.

Included in all test kits are three lancets so you can try a different finger if you’re struggling to collect enough. You can also call the SHL.UK clinical team on 0203 315 4545 for support during office opening hours.

We require at least 400ul of blood sample to be able to process and test your sample. Any less and we cannot guarantee the sample can be tested. For kits that include tests for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C we require 600ul of blood (600 line on the blood tube).

If you are only able to collect a small sample we ask that you still send to us what you collected and we shall see what tests we can do (we will try to prioritise HIV testing). If you are unable to collect any blood OR we haven't been able to perform all the tests because the blood sample was haemolysed or insufficient in volume, please call the SHL.UK team on 0203 315 4545 and we can send you another kit. Alternatively, if you prefer you can also attend your local sexual health clinic for the blood test.

We are aware that in some instances collecting your own blood is challenging, but most service users manage to provide a sufficient sample for testing and those who do not get better with practice.

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