Finger-Prick Blood

Tips

The vast majority of people take their own blood sample with minimal difficulties but some do struggle, so we suggest reading through these tips:

  • To help blood flow, take a hot shower or bath just before you collect your sample.
  • Standing whilst taking your blood sample is best but it can also be done easily when sitting.
  • If you can, keep the hand you are sampling from below your waist and your arm straight.
  • When you collect the blood drops, milk the full length of the finger, not just the tip.
  • Asking a friend to assist you whilst you take your blood sample can make it easier.

Fainting:Rarely when some people try to take their own sample they may feel faint or do faint.Fainting (syncope) is a sudden temporary loss of consciousness that usually results in a fall.When you faint, you'll feel weak and unsteady before passing out for a short period of time, usually only a few seconds.There may not be any warning symptoms, but some people experience: a sudden, clammy sweat; feeling sick (nausea); fast, deep breathing; confusion; lightheadedness; blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes; ringing in your ears.If you think you may feel faint or do feel faint lie down until you feel better.

1. Wash your hands with warm water then unpack the kit on a clean surface.
washing hands image

2. Use the alcohol wipe to clean one of your middle fingers, and let it dry.
clean finger image

3. Twist the tip of the safety needle to break the seal, and remove the cap.
open needle image

4. Place the safety needle on the finger, and push firmly to activate. The needle activates once.
using needle image

5. Wipe away the first drop of blood with a clean, dry tissue.

6. Gently massage the finger from the base to the tip (using a milking motion) to allow drops to fall into the tube.
fill tube image

7. Fill the tube to the upper line on the side (marked 600). We may not be able to test samples below the 400 line.

8. If you are unable to collect enough blood, we’ve included spare needles, so try another finger (or 2).

9. Apply a plaster to your finger, then tightly press the cap onto the tube. Please wipe any blood from the outside of the tube.

10. Gently turn the tube upside down 5 times and then place into the transport pack.
flip the tube around image


Sexual Health London offers a free STI testing across most of London.
Simply register with SHL and complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.