Patient information

Samples may be collected by Allina Health Laboratory staff, or delivered to the any one of our lab locations.

Collection instructions

It's important to follow these instructions so your sample or specimen is collected the right way. This will help your test results be correct.

Instructions are available in these languages: English, Hmong, Russian, Somali and Spanish.

Blood draws

Will the blood draw hurt?

Patients will often feel a quick 'pinch' when the needle is inserted, but there is no pain with the blood being drawn into the tube.

How much blood will you need?

Our largest collection tube sample is only 2 tsps.

Will I have a bruise after the procedure?

The phlebotomist will apply pressure to the puncture site once the needle is removed to help prevent any bruising, and a bandage will be applied to the puncture site.

Fasting for a blood specimen collection

An overnight fast is required for a number of laboratory tests.  If your provider has instructed you to fast prior to the collection of your blood specimen, please follow these instructions to ensure optimal results.

  • Do not eat or drink anything except normal amounts of plain water for 8-10 hours before the blood draw (8 hours for glucose testing). 
  • You may drink normal amounts of water, but no coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, or juice.  In addition, you should avoid alcoholic beverages for 48 hours if lipid testing is ordered.
  • Do not smoke, chew gum, or exercise the morning of the test.
  • Take your medications, unless your provider has instructed you otherwise.

Fasting for a blood test - Patient card

Fine needle aspiration

Fine needle aspiration questions and answers

Bone marrow biopsy with aspiration

Cesarean birth patients

Abbott Northwestern Hospital Cesarean Birth patient instructions

Follow the instructions (such as fasting) from your health care provider for test preparation or for collection at home.
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