Blood clotting is an important function, but it can be dangerous if it occurs inappropriately. We offer blood tests to confirm that your blood can clot when it needs to and assess the risk of dangerous clotting.
We all need our blood to clot to prevent dangerous blood loss following a cut or injury. However sometimes our blood can clot inappropriately and form a thrombosis. These present a serious health risk – as highlighted in publicity about deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT symptoms include pain and swelling in one leg (often the calf) and warm skin in the area of the clot.
If it is not treated, these clots can move into the lungs where it becomes a very serious condition – possibly causing extreme breathlessness, collapse and chest pain.
We offer several tests to check both how well your body can form a clot when needed and your risk of inappropriate clotting. Information from these tests, which require just one drop of blood, can help you and your doctors take steps to reduce the risks and start or monitor treatment.
More urgently, your GP or another doctor may refer you for tests if they suspect you have DVT. Your clinician may well advise you to have the tests on the same day.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care.
All of our nurses are of the highest standard and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
A formal consultation may not always be required for all patients.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
A nurse will take blood from a vein in your arm for analysis in our laboratories. We’ll swiftly send the results to your Spire consultant or NHS GP or consultant.
If your doctor suspects you may have DVT, the blood tests will look for D-dimer, a substance found when a blood clot breaks down. This will be analysed immediately.
A positive result does not necessarily mean you have DVT so you’ll also have an ultrasound Doppler test. If this test proves negative but our experienced consultant or another doctor still suspects you may have DVT, they might also ask for a venography. This involves taking X-rays of your leg after a dye is injected into your vein.
If you’re having blood clots tests, you'll be able to leave hospital shortly within the test ending.
If you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT) testing, one of our experienced consultants will talk to you about the results before you leave. We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other care that you may need should your test results show something abnormal.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
We have excellent road links to the M1 and A1(M), and are five minutes from Harpenden train station.
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Harpenden Hospital.