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How long do blood test results take?

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  • How long do blood test results take?

    Does anyone had any advice on the length of time and way they received their blood tests?

    I was referred to a rheumy earlier this year after years of illnesses and pains, and finally got an appointment on 2 July. At this stage the only blood test showing anything at all was my ANA which was 1:80. My rheumy was really dismissive and told me blood tests were irrelevant. However, she then told me I'd have some more blood taken that day for further tests, but unless they showed anything she didn't think there was anything wrong with me. After weeks of trying to chase up the results of the blood tests I had a message left on my answerphone from my rheumy saying she will write about the results in more detail in a letter which I would receive within a week. Yesterday I received an appointment for follow up, but despite it being over 7 weeks and it'll be 10 weeks by the time I get the appointment, I still don't have a clue what my blood test results are.

    Is this normal? To my knowledge the tests are only for anti double stranded DNA and ENA screen, so I wouldn't have expected them to take so long. I was also told (after the first three weeks) that one of the tests wasn't completed so my rheumy had to again ask the lab to do it. Do the labs usually keep hold of blood in case they need to do follow up tests, as when I went through loads of blood tests with my GP, one of the tests wasn't completed and I had to give more blood.

    I'm just a bit worried that after my rheumy was so dismissive initially (she even said in the letter to my GP that she might not see me again), that she hasn't told me what my blood tests results are despite telling me on two occassions I would get them in the post, but wants to see me in person.

    Any advice please?


    Penny :worried:

  • #2
    hiya Penny... on my first bloodwork taken it took three weeks to get the auto immune ones back as they are sent away to a specialist lab, in fact I think it could have been St Thomas's.... the timescale you are talking about it way longer than that, but the results are usually given to you via the Rheumy so they can explain them... however, I would expect them to contact you if any obvious problems.. seems as if you have been led a bit of a merry dance! Also no rheumy would dismiss your concerns just on bloodwork.. to work towards diagnosis you have to fill 4 of 11 criteria and that is with or without bloodwork!!! Pity they don't seem to get that... hope you feel better soon... if you are still not happy with your rheumy, time to look for another.
    Claire XX PS.. start doing a daily diary with pain scale 1-10 and photos of rashes, swellings etc, start documenting it all.. its harder for them to ignore the evidence then.


    • #3
      Hi Claire

      Thanks for the advice. Sadly my rheumy seems to have her own way of diagnosing people which doesn't take into account that I have 7 of the criteria (although only a weakly positive ANA). I have double checked the answerphone message she left me, and it definitely said she would write to me with the results and the letter would include plenty of detail. I think I'll ring tomorrow and say it has been two weeks since she confirmed she had the results and was sending a letter. It might have just got lost in the post.

      I'd pretty much given up on her anyway, and already have an appointment for when my GP gets back from her holiday so I can ask to be referred to St Thomas'.

      Hopefully somehow or another I'll be able to get a new body soon!!


      • #4
        Hi PJW,

        Most docs don't like to hand out results unless they have been able to explain them to you (and I think that's very good practice). Maybe that's why she has scheduled a follow-up when you weren't really expecting one. I'd take that as a good sign actually.



        • #5
          Hiya.. as Lily and I said previously they do like 'face to face' to talk you through the results... but you are waiting a long time, which seems unkind over such a big issue. Is there anyway you could go onto a cancellation list to see her earlier? Sounds as if the letter is not going anywhere at this rate until you see her... they are reluctant to send to GP (though they get a copy of results... in a perfect world) because alot of GPs can't interpret them anyway..... If you fit that many of the criteria it shouldn't be that difficult to give you a diagnosis, however, as you know from this board there is a great reluctance to 'label' somebody until they are definite... I wish you luck, think you should keep pushing for answers, it won't hurt to get a referral to St. Thomas's..... let us know how you get on.
          Claire XX


          • #6
            Hi Penny,

            Although I agree with Lily that it is better to wait and discuss test results with the doctor at a follow up appointment, I always get my results mailed to my home as well so I have them prior to my follow up's. I like to research the abnormals so that I can have a educated discussion with my doctor when I do go back to see him. For some folks this can cause concern that is unnecessary and useless.

            I typically get results with in a week of the blood draws. My follow appointments are typically 2 weeks after the blood is drawn. I wish you luck moving ahead and keep us posted.


            • #7
              Hi Penny
              I have never heard of a UK rheumy sending test results to an individual, nor have I ever heard of somebody not having a follow up consultation to get the results and the doctor's conclusions. I'd say the follow ups are about 2 months after the initial consultation.
              I think they are usually sent to the person's GP at some point. Even if the conclusion is not enought to diagnose SLE, not seeing the doctor deprives the patient of the opportunity to discuss the situation. It is all very odd to me but we do need at least a good GP for in betweeen appointments or emergencies as the regular appointments at St Thomas' are at long intervals and clearly, getting up to London might even be impossible.

              Good Luck


              • #8
                Hello Penny

                I had same ANA results in feb as u,i just had Lupus serology what ever that is?
                seems we at same stage of tests then!

                ive got to wait 3 months for my results at my next follow up appointment reason being they dont like to send them to me but rather see me face to face,ask how i been and examine me again then go through results and explain them to me.

                maybe yours thinking same,though i agree response to u wasnt most encouarging for u.
                mine didnt explain alot but his doctor who exmained me did he asked if i understood what ahd been said and reasured me im in good ahnds,ddint help me wiht the anxiety and shock left me in but then no body could have.
                im stilll in shock.but hoping i just have

                apolgies if waffling.