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Testing your blood levels: finger prick or going to an injection center?

  • 09 / 01 / 2024 4
Testing your blood levels: finger prick or going to an injection center?

When it comes to monitoring your health, blood value tests are an essential tool. Because, thanks to testing your blood values, you get a better understanding of the current status of your health.

There are several ways to perform these tests. You probably know them but it is important to understand the pros and cons of the different blood tests but also what are common misunderstandings.

Testing your blood levels: finger prick or going to an injection center?

When it comes to monitoring your health, blood value tests are an essential tool. Because, thanks to testing your blood values, you get a better understanding of the current status of your health.

 There are different ways to perform these tests. You probably know them but it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different blood tests but also common misunderstandings.

 

Key difference: collection via vein at lancing station or finger prick at home

Let's start with the basics by telling you what types of tests there are and the pros and cons of these tests.

Taking blood through a vein: venipuncture

Surely this is the most familiar form of blood collection for most people. In this method, blood is drawn through a needle, after which one or more tubes are filled. This method is also called venipuncture and is performed in hospital or at an injection station.

 

Whether a prick in the arm is perceived as scary or painful is very personal. Many people who are afraid of needles simply look away while being pricked. At Blood Value Testing, we only work with very experienced professionals, which means that for most people the pricking is not or barely painful.

 

Do you have a fear of needles? Then we advise you to tell us when you enter the treatment room. Then you can get some tips and it is often not that bad afterwards!

 

The great advantage of collection through the vein is that one can very easily take some more blood. This often allows multiple tests to be taken. At Blood Values Test it is even possible to buy additional tests a few days* after testing where already taken tube of blood can be used (you don't have to go to the blood station again then). Another advantage is that because more blood is drawn and from vein instead of finger, the results are usually more reliable.

 

            * depending on multiple factors, ask us for advice

The finger prick home test: 2 methods

Finger prick tests can be performed in two ways: Dried Blood Spot (DBS) and capillary blood sampling. Both ways of finger pricking you can perform yourself at home.

Dried Blood Spot (DBS).

The Dried Blood Spot (DBS) method of finger pricking involves taking blood at home, letting it dry on filter paper and then sending it in for analysis.

You will then receive a pricking kit with instructions and filter paper. The process is simple: prick your finger, drop at least two drops of blood on the indicated circles of the filter paper, making sure the drops do not mix. After drying, send the blood for examination. The great advantage of this method of blood collection is that you can do it comfortably from home, and for many people it is considered less "scary" compared to a vein puncture at the clinic.

Capillary Blood Lancing in Tube

This finger prick test is the most commonly encountered. The big difference with the DBS finger prick is that this test requires more blood to be collected. This collection is not done on filter paper but in a small tube. This method is often offered at the hospital or at the doctor's office, but you also see it more often as a self-test that you can do at home.

Because more blood is collected than with the DBS method, the laboratory can usually analyze the blood better and more reliably.

For both methods of blood sampling, it is nice that you can do it at home but because you have to squeeze the blood from your finger, the blood cells can be damaged which can make the results less reliable. In addition, some people find it quite difficult to squeeze enough blood out of their finger and sometimes the collection fails because of this to either order a new test or to go to a clinic for a collection through the vein after all.

Misunderstandings of blood collection finger prick and vein puncture (venipuncture)

Despite the fact that almost all of our clients know broadly the difference between a finger prick and collection through a vein at the lancing station, there are a few common misunderstandings:

No, sampling from vein is not always more painful than finger prick
People often think that blood sampling from the vein is more painful than a finger prick, but this is not always the case. It depends on individual pain thresholds and the skill of the professional doing the collection.

There is indeed a difference in reliability

There is a misconception that blood tests via finger prick are as accurate as those from a vein, while certain tests require more accurate results that can only be obtained via venous blood collection. By this we are not saying that it is unwise to take a finger prick at home but in some cases it is better to go for the highest reliability. We are happy to advise you on this.

All test can be done either by finger prick or collection by vein.
People sometimes think that all tests can be done with a finger prick, but in reality there are limitations to the types of tests that can be done with blood from a finger prick. For certain - often extensive - tests, the laboratory simply needs the blood not pushed from a finger, but from a vein.

You need a new blood draw for each test

Yes, that's true in the case of a finger prick test that you do at home. But in many cases, the tube of blood taken at the testing center can also be used for additional tests after a limited number of days *. Which is nice because then you don't have to have your blood drawn again. This is where Blood Value Testing is unique.

* depending on multiple factors, ask us for advice

Want some advice? Let us know

We offer so many different health tests with different methods of collection (from vein sampling to finger prick sampling to stool and cheek swabs) that we can well imagine that sometimes you are unsure what is best for your situation. Therefore, when in doubt, just contact us!

Comments

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    Jetske josefina Ouwendijk

    19 / 01 / 2024

    Thank you for the information

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    Joelle de Man

    19 / 01 / 2024

    Under the 'finger prick' category are the tests that can be performed via the finger. Additional tests will be added weekly

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    Helene

    19 / 01 / 2024

    what examinations are possible with. finger prick?

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    M. Verwaal

    18 / 01 / 2024

    Can you get vit K2 tested?

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    Janine Steeneken

    18 / 01 / 2024

    Can ApoB be reliably detected via finger prick?

    Regards,
    Janine Steeneken

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