the 'Docs on the Docks' - Galways Friendliest Medical Centre
Blood Tests - What do I need to know?
To have a blood test, you must initially attend the GP for consultation. This can on occasion be carried out by our Nurse, if instructed by the GP.
Your GP may decide that blood tests would be helpful in forming a diagnosis, or to help get more information about your condition.
You may be asked to return to our Nurse to have blood taken OR if you are returning for repeat bloods.
It is vital that you let your GP know if there is something in particular you wish to be tested for and why. Please mention this early in the consultation, not at the end.
Don't assume blood tests 'look for everything', as they don't. (For example, there is no blood test for 'cancer'). There are thousands of tests that can be done through blood samples and each needs to be ordered specifically.
Your GP is responsible for choosing the correct test for your specific complaint.
Your GP must also be vigilant in selecting only tests that may be particularly helpful with your specific combination of symptoms and clinical findings.
The laboratory (run by the HSE, not us) may not process inappropriate blood tests as they are correctly deemed a waste of valuable resources.
We are open to discussion about what you have found in your own online searches but the final decision about which blood tests to order rests with your GP. Dr. Google is not registered to practice as a GP in Ireland, unfortunately.
We try to avoid bringing you back unnecessarily for repeat tests for minor abnormalities, yet we are responsible if your blood results show the start of a more significant disease process that we should have acted on.
The lab will send us a printout of your results, but the doctor who ordered the test is ultimately responsible for interpreting abnormal results in the context of an individual patient.
Once your results have been reviewed by your GP, we will make contact with you.
If your blood results are normal, you will receive a text message from us stating this. Please make sure we have your correct phone number.
If your GP needs to discuss your bloods with you, you will be asked to make an appointment to come back for review. Alternatively, your GP may phone you to discuss your results.
We can give you a copy of your results if you require one but only after your GP has reviewed the results and contacted you about them.
We will try to avoid bringing you back unnecessarily for repeat tests for minor abnormalities, but we are responsible if your blood results show the start of a more significant disease process that we should have acted on.
If we ask you to come back for review it is because your GP has decided that this course of action is best.
We can do blood tests at any time except after 12 noon on Fridays.
If you require fasting bloods please fast for 12 hours before-hand and book an early appointment on the day.
This is a great article by David Robert Grimes in the Irish Times today. Explains in plain English the difference between 'screening tests' and 'diagnostic tests', the limitations of screening for disease, what 'false positive' means and more, in the context of the CervicalCheck scandal....