Blood tests: what are they?
Blood tests are performed to quantify or analyze the blood’s proteins, chemicals, cells, and other constituents. One of the most popular kinds of laboratory examinations is blood testing, also referred to as blood work. A routine exam frequently includes blood testing. Other uses for blood testing include:
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aid in the diagnosis of specific illnesses and ailments
Keep an eye on any chronic illnesses or conditions, such high cholesterol or diabetes.
Assess the efficacy of a disease’s therapy
Examine your organs’ functionality. The liver, kidneys, heart, and thyroid are among your organs.
aid in the diagnosis of clotting or bleeding issues
To determine whether your immune system is experiencing problems warding off pathogens,
What kinds of blood tests are there?
There are several kinds of blood tests. Typical ones consist of:
Complete blood count (CBC). This test evaluates hemoglobin, platelets, red and white blood cells, and other components of your blood. As part of a routine examination, a CBC is frequently performed.
simple metabolic panel. This set of examinations quantifies the levels of several substances in your blood, such as calcium, electrolytes, and glucose.
testing for blood enzymes. Enzymes are molecules found in your body that regulate chemical processes. Blood enzyme testing comes in a variety of forms. Tests for creatine kinase and troponin are two of the most used kinds. These tests are intended to determine whether you have had a myocardial infarction or whether there is myocardial damage.
tests on blood to look for cardiac problems. These consist of triglyceride and cholesterol testing.
Coagulation panels, another name for blood clotting assays. These tests can determine whether you have a condition that results in excessive bleeding or clotting.
How does a blood test work?
A blood sample will be required by a medical professional. Another name for this is a blood draw. Venipuncture is the term for drawing blood from a vein.
Using a tiny needle, a lab technician called a phlebotomist will draw blood from a vein in your arm during venipuncture. A tiny quantity of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial following the insertion of the needle. The needle may hurt a bit when it enters or exits your body. Usually, this takes within five minutes.
Other methods for drawing blood include:
A finger prick experiment. To take a little sample of blood for this test, prick your fingertip. Rapid tests and at-home test kits frequently involve finger prick testing. Rapid tests are simple to use, yield results quickly, and call for little to no specialized equipment.
A test with a heel stick. Usually, this is done on babies. A medical professional will wipe your baby’s heel with alcohol and prick it with a tiny needle during a heel stick test. After taking a few blood droplets, the healthcare professional would bandage the injured area.
blood test for arterial disease. The purpose of this test is to assess oxygen levels. The oxygen content of blood from arteries is higher than that of blood from veins. Therefore, rather of drawing blood from a vein for this test, an artery is used. The procedure may cause a sudden, excruciating pain as the doctor puts the needle into your artery to draw blood.
Is there anything I should do to get ready for the test?
For the majority of blood tests, no extra preparations are required. You might need to fast (not eat or drink) for a few hours before to some examinations. If there are any particular instructions to follow, your healthcare professional will inform you of them.
Does taking the exam carry any risks?
A venipuncture or finger prick test carry relatively little danger. Most symptoms of a venipuncture are transient and may include mild discomfort or bruising at the site of the needle insertion.
A heel stick test poses very little danger to your infant. A little bruise may appear at the spot where the heel is pushed, and your baby may experience a slight pinch.
While problems are rare, drawing blood from an artery hurts more than drawing from a vein. You can have some discomfort, bruising, or bleeding where the needle was inserted. You should also refrain from carrying anything heavy for 24 hours following the exam.
Are there any other blood test-related details I should be aware of?
Important health-related information may be obtained through blood tests. However, it doesn’t always provide sufficient details about your health. Your doctor may need to do further tests in addition to blood testing before diagnosing you.