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Receiving & Understanding Test Results

If you have had a blood test, urine test or smear test at North Shore Surgery and are waiting for results, we ask that patients please do not telephone to inquire about the results. You will be contacted by the surgery if the results indicate you need further treatment, at which point we will talk you through your results and make arrangements for further treatment or consultation.

If you are dropping a sample off either urine, faeces or blood samples to the practice please ensure these are dropped off no later than 4pm Monday – Friday to ensure it meets the hospital collection times. Samples after this time will not be accepted.

Blood Test Results

Introduction

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test. For example, a blood test can be used to:

  • Assess your general state of health
  • Confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection
  • See how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are functioning
  • Screen for certain genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis

What happens during a blood test?

Most blood tests are carried out at your GP surgery or your local hospital under the supervision of a nurse, or in some cases, a doctor. A test usually involves placing a needle attached to a syringe into one of the blood vessels in the inside of your elbow or wrist. You will feel a sharp prick as the needle goes in but this isn’t particularly painful.

A sample of blood is then taken and the needle is removed. You will be given a cotton-wool pad to put pressure on the the site of the injection, which stops any bleeding and should prevent bruising. Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete.

Recovery

Only a small amount of blood is taken during the test so you shouldn’t feel any significant after-effects. However, some people do feel dizzy and faint during and after the test. If this happens to you, tell the person carrying out the test so they can help you feel more comfortable.

After a blood test, you may have a small bruised area on your skin where the needle went in. Occasionally, a larger area of bruising may appear. This can be because there was a lack of pressure at the site of the jab or the blood vessel was damaged by the needle. Bruises can be painful but are usually harmless. However, tell your GP if you frequently get bruises after having a blood test.

X-Ray Results

Introduction

X-ray is a safe and painless procedure often used to produce images of the inside of the body. It is a very effective way of looking at fractured bones, such as a broken arm or wrist. An x-ray can also be used to examine organs and identify problems. For example, an x-ray will show up an infection in your lungs, such as pneumonia.

X-rays are also often used during therapeutic procedures, such as a coronary angioplasty, to help the surgeon guide equipment to the area being treated.

How X-Rays Work

X-rays are a type of radiation. Light and x-rays are similar sources of energy. However, light has a much lower frequency than x-rays and is absorbed by your skin. X-rays have a higher frequency and pass through the human body. As x-rays pass through the body, energy particles in them (called photons) are absorbed at different rates. This pattern shows up on the x-ray images.

The parts of your body that are made up of dense material, such as your bones, show up as clear white areas on an x-ray image. The parts of your body that are made of softer material, such as your heart and lungs, show up as darker areas.

Having an X-Ray

X-rays are carried out by radiographers who are healthcare professionals trained to use imaging technology, including x-ray machines, computerised tomography (ct) scanners and ultrasound scanners. During an x-ray you will be asked to lie on a table or stand against a flat surface so that the part of your body being examined is positioned between the x-ray machine and a photographic plate.

The x-ray will last for a fraction of a second. As the x-rays hit the photographic plate, the plate captures a snapshot of the image. The resulting image will be transferred to a computer so it can be studied on a screen and printed out if necessary.