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Blood Collection Preparation

Preparing for your test

Patient Instructions

If your doctor has requested that a fasting blood test be performed, fasting is generally overnight.

12 hours is the optimal fasting period. Fasting longer than the recommended time could compromise your results. You may be advised to defer the test to another day.

General Fasting information

To ensure your test is accurate it is important to adhere to the following:

  • Have nothing to eat or drink for at least 10 to 12 hours - preferably an overnight fast
  • If you are thirsty, sips of plain water only are permitted. (No coffee, tea, fruit juice, lemonade or alcohol).
  • You are advised to avoid smoking
  • You are advised not to chew gum
  • If you take medication, please continue to take your medication as prescribed
  • If you are diabetic please consult your doctor prior to fasting
12 hours is the optimal fasting period, but 10-14 hours is acceptable. Fasting beyond 14 hours affects the quality of the result.

Tips for nervous patients

If blood tests make you nervous, we have special options that will put you at ease.The first step it to let us know how you’re feeling. If you have a tendency to become lightheaded when your blood is taken, our staff can have you lie down. This will help you to relax. If you start to feel faint, you can just close your eyes and breathe deeply. Our staff encounter nervous patients all the time are ready to help in any way they can.Practising self-care can also help to ease anxiety.

  • Focus on your breathing
  • Visualise a relaxing scene
  • Turn your head away
  • Talk about your family, pets, or things you enjoy
  • Try not to hold your breath, tense up or look at the needle.

Visiting our collection centres

We operate 90 accredited laboratories across the country and close to 1000 Accredited Collection Centres across Australia (with the exception of Tasmania and Queensland).

Our centres are staffed by highly-trained specialists who are experts in their field.

Once you arrive at one of our collection centres, our aim is to see you as soon as possible. Mornings are our busiest time and you may wish to consider a time later in the day to avoid waiting.

For most tests, you do not need to make an appointment.*

To find your closest collection centre, use our in the navigation bar at the top of this page. For any general questions about collection, please give us a call on 1300 453 688.

Tests with special collection requirements do require an appointment. Please contact us if you are not sure whether you need an appointment.