Knowledge and Rehabilitation Centre for children and adults with multiple limb deficiencies

För remittenter

Remiss till EX-Center ställs via
Take Care,
Amputations- och Dysmelicentrum
Pappersremiss skickas till:
Aktiv Ortopedteknik
Amputations- och Dysmelicentrum
Box 4041
169 04 SOLNA

Blood tests

A blood test provides a picture of a person’s health status. The test is either performed via finger prick or by extracting a blood sample from a blood vessel (vein) using a hypodermic needle. In the latter case the sample is usually extracted from the arm area around the inner side of the elbow.  

For the target group

Taking a blood test may require more planning if you have limb deficiencies. Even people with all or parts of their arms can find it difficult to provide a blood sample via a hypodermic needle, as the blood vessels are sometimes more deeply located or not particularly visible. Many people also have had bad previous experiences of blood tests, and this can make the process more difficult. 

If a blood test is to be performed via finger prick but you don’t have any fingers or your fingers are very small, an alternative may be to take the test via a prick in a toe or earlobe. Taking a blood test via the earlobe may be an alternative if it is not possible to obtain sufficient blood from a prick in a finger or toe. You can also request that the healthcare personnel use microsampling instead, which means that a smaller amount of blood is used for analysis. 

Blood samples extracted from veins can be taken from arms, feet or legs as well as the groin or throat. If the throat is used, the sample is extracted from the blood vessel located next to the collarbone. 

Helpful tips

If you find it difficult or traumatic to have a blood test, or if a blood sample must be extracted from a vein, request that your test be performed by the most experienced person at the clinic. If you are in hospital, request that your test be performed by someone from the hospital’s test-taking unit, paediatric ward or anaesthetic clinic. 

Before the test begins, you should tell the test-taker where the needle can most easily be inserted into your body, and where it is easiest to extract blood in your case. If the blood sample is to be extracted from a foot or leg, it is usually easier if your legs and feet are warm beforehand. Going for a short walk in warm socks and shoes before the blood test may make the process easier. Another option could be to sit with your feet in a really warm footbath. When you are warm, your blood vessels become more visible and it becomes easier to extract a blood sample using a needle. If it is still difficult to see the blood vessels, the healthcare personnel may use ultrasound or a vein scanner. The scanner uses infrared light to make it easier to identify the vein. If the personnel insist on extracting a blood sample from an area you know is normally a problem, it is important that you tell them this and explain why it has not been possible to take a sample from that body area in the past. 

If you have blood vessels that are thinner or smaller than average, it may be a good idea for the personnel to use a smaller needle, called a butterfly. The butterfly needle could be a good alternative if you know that you have difficulty providing a sample via a standard needle. 

There are pain relief creams and plasters that can be used to relieve pain in connection with a blood test. Ask your local pharmacy for details. The best effect is usually achieved if you apply the cream or plaster about one hour prior to the blood test. 


Blood tests can be used to check the effect of medication. If you have difficulty with blood tests, it could be a good idea to ask your care provider whether there is an alternative form of medication for which the results can be checked in some other way, so that you don’t have to have regular blood tests. 

The Rehab team


Orthopaedic physicians

Occupational therapists



Prosthetist/Head of rehabilitation