What is the blood test?

Blood test or blood test is a type of medical test that is performed on a blood sample. In blood tests, a medical technician analyzes a blood sample to look for key indicators that may provide clues about the patient's health. Blood testing is a routine part of many medical procedures, from a diagnostic exam to evaluating a candidate for surgery, and many people experience blood draws for blood tests at some point in their lives.

Blood samples are classically taken intravenously, by inserting a needle into one of the veins on the inside of the elbow to access a blood sample. Sometimes the blood test can be accomplished with a smaller sample obtained from a fingerstick blood test. In other cases, arterial blood may be required for blood tests, depending on the patient and the circumstances. In all cases, a nurse, phlebotomist, or physician may collect the blood sample, observing careful procedures to maintain the integrity of the blood sample.

Doctors may order blood tests to look for a variety of things. In a complete blood panel, the technician performing the analysis provides a comprehensive discussion of the various components in the patient's blood chemistry, including liver enzymes, electrolytes, trace hormones, and red and white blood cell levels. Full panels tend to be expensive, as they require a variety of tests on the blood sample. The full panel often comes with information on the average ranges of various substances in the blood that can be compared to the patient's results, and the technician can offer additional comments on the implications of the results.

In other cases, a doctor may request that the technician look for something in particular, such as traces of hormones associated with pregnancy or glucose levels after a fasting test for diabetes. The cost of this type of blood test can vary, depending on what the technician is looking for. Liver enzyme panels, for example, can be quite expensive, while pregnancy tests are often cheap.

Some doctors recommend yearly blood tests to check for signs of underlying medical conditions or emerging diseases that can be detected early. Annual blood testing is especially recommended for animals, as they cannot communicate about symptoms. The blood test is also routinely ordered before surgery, as part of an evaluation to determine whether or not the patient is fit for surgery, and is also used in doping tests to determine if someone has been using banned substances. or not.

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