Skip the location trail if you do not want to read it as the next section. A blood test is a quick and simple way to measure the amount of certain proteins, minerals, fats and sugars in your blood. By looking at the levels of these in your blood, your doctor can find out how well your body is working and whether or not you have certain conditions or health problems.
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When you are first diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor or nurse may carry out one or more blood tests to help them plan the best treatment for you. This will show them:. Blood tests are very common and taking blood is a simple procedure.
It can usually be carried out at your local surgery by your doctor or nurse. If your doctor or nurse only needs to know your blood sugar levels for example when looking for diabetes , then just a small prick on the tip of a finger is needed to release a few drops of blood. However, most tests normally require a test tube of blood, which will need to be collected by a syringe. If needles make you feel uncomfortable, speak to your doctor or nurse.
They will be able to help. Since no anaesthetics or special procedures are needed, you will be able to leave the surgery straightaway and carry on with your day as normal. If you feel faint while the blood is being taken, you may be asked to rest for a while afterwards.
Depending on what your doctor or nurse is testing for, you might be asked to avoid eating anything for a period before the test. You'll be told when your results will be ready and how you'll be given them. Sometimes, receiving results can be stressful and upsetting. If you're worried about the outcome of a test, you may choose to take a trusted friend or relative with you.
For some tests, such as HIV , you will be offered specialist counselling to help you deal with your results. Page last reviewed: 26 October Next review due: 26 October Overview - Blood tests Contents Overview Examples. For example, a blood test can be used to: assess your general state of health check if you have an infection see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are working screen for certain genetic conditions Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and are carried out at your GP surgery or local hospital by a doctor, nurse or phlebotomist a specialist in taking blood samples.
Read about some common types of blood test. Preparing for a blood test The healthcare professional who arranges your blood test will tell you whether there are any specific instructions you need to follow before your test.
What happens during a blood test? A blood test usually involves taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm.
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After the test Only a small amount of blood is taken during the test so you shouldn't feel any significant after-effects. Blood test results After the blood sample has been taken, it will be put into a bottle and labelled with your name and details. The seven tests included in a Chem 7 include:. A complete blood count , or CBC, looks at the different cells that make up whole blood. A CBC can inform the doctor if the body is making the appropriate number of each type of cell, and it can also reflect signs of a current or recent infection, bleeding, or clotting issues.
After surgery, the doctor may order this test to see if a blood transfusion is warranted, or if the patient is dehydrated and requires additional fluids. These tests, known collectively as a coagulation panel , look at how quickly blood clots. Elevated clotting times can cause problems in surgery, during which bleeding is often expected. If the result shows significantly longer clotting times than are typical, it may be necessary to delay surgery to prevent significant bleeding during the procedure.
Liver function studies, also known as LFTs, are done to determine if the liver is functioning normally. Because the liver plays a role in removing anesthesia from the bloodstream and normal blood clotting, it's essential to know if it's functioning normally prior to the procedure. Elevated numbers can indicate poor liver function or liver damage.
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An additional test, called a GGT, may be added to the liver panel. This test can indicate that there is damage to the liver or surrounding ducts but does not specify what type of damage is present. An arterial blood gas , commonly called an ABG, looks at how the respiratory system is functioning and how much oxygen is in the blood.
Abnormal results may indicate that the blood is low in oxygen, that the patient is breathing too much or too little on a ventilator during the surgical procedure , or that they need additional oxygen. The ABG is typically performed at least once a day when the patient is on a ventilator for an extended period of time. The results are used to determine if any changes in ventilator settings are necessary. If the patient is in ICU, a special IV called an arterial line may be placed to make drawing arterial blood easier, particularly when it's being done frequently.
ABG Interpretation is very challenging and is typically done by physicians or providers. ABO Typing is the medical term for determining the patient's blood type. This is done prior to surgery, so blood can be given in the operating room if necessary.
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