A blood pressure cuff is placed on the upper arm and inflated to 40 mmHg. A standard-sized incision is made around 10 mm long and 1 mm deep on the underside of the forearm. Every 30 seconds, filter paper or a paper towel is used to draw off the blood .The time from when the incision is made until all bleeding has stopped is measured and is called the bleeding time. Normal value is between 2 - 9 minutes.
The patient is pricked with a special needle or lancet, preferably on the earlobe or fingertip, after having been swabbed with alcohol. The prick is about 3–4 mm deep. The patient then wipes the blood every 30 seconds with a filter paper. The test ceases when bleeding ceases. Normal time is about 1–3 minutes.
Note: It does not predict surgical bleeding.