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Blood Collection Preparation

Preparing for your test

Patient Instructions

If your doctor has requested that a fasting blood test, the fasting period is generally overnight.

The optimal fasting duration is 12 hours. Fasting longer than the recommended time could compromise your results, and you may be advised to defer the test to another day.

General Fasting information

To ensure the accuracy of your test, 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 thirsty, sips of plain water are permitted (no coffee, tea, fruit juice, lemonade, or alcohol).
  • Avoid smoking and chewing gum.
  • If you take medication, please continue to take your medication as prescribed.
  • If you are living with diabetes, please consult your doctor before fasting.

Please note: While 12 hours is the optimal fasting period, 10-14 hours is acceptable. Fasting beyond 14 hours may affect result quality. 

Tips for nervous patients:

If blood tests make you nervous, we offer options to help you feel at ease. 
The first step is 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 to help you relax. If you start to feel faint, simply close your eyes and breathe deeply. Our staff encounter nervous patients all the time and are ready to assist 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 73 accredited laboratories and more than 1,300 approved collection centres across Australia (with the exception of Tasmania).

Clinical Labs collection centres are staffed by specially-trained pathology collectors who will endeavour to make your pathology collection process as pleasant as possible.

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 nearest Clinical Labs collection centre, visit clinicallabs.com.au/location. For any specific queries you may have, please call our friendly customer service team on 1300 134 111.

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