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Why couldn't my results be processed?
Why couldn't my results be processed?

Here's all the reasons why your sample may not have been processed, and what to do now.

Bianca Crown avatar
Written by Bianca Crown
Updated over a week ago

There are a few reasons why your results may not have been processed. If the majority of your results are unable to be processed, we'll automatically send you a replacement kit free of charge.


Haemolysis occurs when red blood cells burst. When collecting a blood sample, squeezing your finger too hard can cause haemolysis.


Results are sometimes unable to be processed due to clotting. This happens if the vial was not inverted quickly after collecting the sample, or if it took too long (more than a couple of minutes) to collect the sufficient amount of blood.

Insufficient sample

When filling the yellow tube with your sample, it needs to be filled to the upper line. If you have a purple tube in your kit (for Advanced tests or other tests with HbA1c), that should be filled just to the lower line. If you don't manage to fill the tubes as required, our lab most likely won't be able to measure the biomarkers in your test panel. 

Sometimes your sample will be marked as "insufficient" even if you filled the tubes up to the required line. This means that there was an insufficient amount of viable blood to run all of the tests in your panel. If this is the case, your sample has either clotted or haemolysed.

Unlabelled or mislabelled sample

If your samples weren't labelled, or if the label on the sample doesn't match your return form, the lab won't be able to process your samples. 

Our labs are UKAS compliant and regulated by the CQC. They need the samples to be labeled correctly so they can run the tests. Because by labelling them, you're giving the lab permission.

You didn't post both samples to the lab

If you receive two tubes in your kit, then both need to be filled. This is because each tube tests for different things. The lab need both of your samples to process any of your tests.

LDL cholesterol results

Our labs' blood analysers directly measure the total cholesterol level, triglycerides and HDL level. 

The LDL level is not directly measured using the machine, but is calculated using the total cholesterol, HDL and triglycerides, using the following formula:

LDL = Total cholesterol - HDL  - (triglycerides / 2.2).

To calculate LDL levels, we need readings for total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides.

Missing LDL cholesterol levels are typically due to one of the following reasons:

  1. HDL is much more sensitive to haemolysis than total cholesterol,  so it is possible to get a total cholesterol level back without an HDL level. Without the HDL level, it is not possible to calculate the LDL level.

  2. If your Triglyceride levels are too high (over 4.5), then the formula does not work. If this is the case, it might be worth fasting overnight, and repeating the test in before breakfast as this can affect the triglyceride levels.


Reason unknown

Unfortunately, sometimes the blood breaks down before the lab is able to process it. This can be due to heat, delay between collecting the sample and processing, or a number of other factors.

What happens now?

GPs review all of our results and if they don't have the majority of your results, they'll ask for a retest, which will be automatically sent to you free of charge. We'll email you letting you know a new test is on the way.

If you receive your results and a few haven't been processed, your reporting GP will let you know to get in touch with our customer support team. They'll credit your Thriva account for your missing results, so you can add them to your next test package free of charge.

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