How to Prepare
Depending on the test required, you may need to limit certain foods or refrain from eating ('fasting') for a period prior to your test. Your doctor will tell you if this is required.
Please note that patients undertaking a fasting blood test should still take their medication unless specifically instructed by their doctor, and must drink water.
The most common pathology tests are listed on our Tests and Procedures page, or our friendly staff can be called on 08 8222 3000 to advise you of any preparation required.
If fasting is required, we recommend that it occurs overnight, as it is usually required for 10-12 hours prior to your test. This means that you do not eat or drink anything apart from water following your dinner.
Attending a Patient Collection Centre
Pathology samples are taken within IMVS Pathology patient collection centres by friendly, professional staff highly trained in all patient sample collection techniques and patient care. IMVS Pathology collection staff have special expertise in taking blood from children.
There are over 65 IMVS Pathology patient collection centres, conveniently located throughout metropolitan and regional South Australia. Simply enter your postcode or suburb in the field on our patient collection centres page and the closest centres will be listed for you.
Generally you won't need to make an appointment, unless you require a special test. Before 10:00am is usually the busiest time for patient collection centres. If you do not need to fast, you may wish to attend the centre later in the day to avoid waiting.
Regardless of the time of day, most patients do not need to wait more than 15 minutes before being attended to by one of our pathology collectors. On occasion, longer waits may be experienced due to exceptional circumstances. Please note, the number of people in the waiting room does not always reflect the waiting time as many patients bring family members and friends with them.
IMVS Pathology offers a domiciliary specimen collection service for patients who, due to the nature of their medical condition and/or immobility, are unable to attend a patient collection centre or regional laboratory.
Our domiciliary service is available Monday to Friday during business hours. IMVS Pathology caters for as many patients as possible, however this service is heavily subscribed and it is a requirement that it must be requested by your medical practitioner.
To arrange a visit, please phone 08 8222 3000 (or 1800 188 077 for country callers).
We have specialist staff trained and highly experienced in blood collection from children in our patient collection centres. Our staff may refer you to an alternative site due to staff numbers and specialist requirements.
The reaction of your child when having a blood test is very much dependent upon the information provided by you prior to the test. Staff will use strategies dependent on the age of your child to reduce fear, limit discomfort and involve you, the parent or guardian in the process.
It can be just as distressing for parents to see their child have a blood test as it is for the child. The best technique for parents to use to make their child comfortable is distraction, such as with a toy.
All of our specimen collection staff undertake comprehensive training in the best techniques to take your blood sample in the most painless way.
If you feel anxious about having your blood collected, tell the collection staff member, as they can assist in reducing your fear and anxiety. You may wish to use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing.
You may also find it easier if you look away, don’t tense up or hold your breath, and tell the pathology collector about something that will keep your mind off the test. If you feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to tell your collector.
Feeling sick or faint?
If you have previously fainted during a blood test, please advise the collection staff member prior to commencing the test.
If you feel sick or faint before or during a blood test, tell the collection staff member so that they can assist you. If you feel faint or sick, you may wish to lie down for the collection - please discuss this before the blood is being taken.
Collection of samples other than blood
To assist your understanding, our collectors can provide you with written instructions and advise you of how the sample will be taken before proceeding. We also provide information sheets for the most frequently conducted tests.
Samples collected at home, such as 24 hour urine, can be taken to any IMVS Pathology patient collection centre.
After the test
After a blood test, it is advisable to leave the gauze swab and tape on for at least an hour, not carry a handbag or lift any heavy items with the arm from which the blood was taken, or perform any strenuous exercise, for 24 hours following the test.
After some tests you may require further care. Your doctor will advise you of this beforehand, and our friendly patient collection centre staff will also let you know of any precautions that may be required.