A blood test is the analysis of blood done in a laboratory after collecting the blood sample from a person. The sample can be withdrawn from vein in the arm with the help of a needle, or it can be taken through a finger prick. The blood test helps to determine the physiology and biochemistry of the blood sample and it helps to find out whether a person is suffering from a disease, what is the mineral content in the blood, what is the effectiveness of a drug or how a particular organ is working.
That is why there are standards laid out for testing blood samples. Usually, the blood serum or the plasma is tested in order to get the results. However, where hematology is concerned, then blood cells are checked.
So, what is the characteristic of a good test of blood sample? The first thing is to ensure that proper amount of blood sample is extracted. The best way to extract the sample is through a vein as it allows the lab to get sufficient amounts of blood cells as well as plasma. Once the sample is extracted, anti-coagulant is added to the blood and thereafter it is analyzed.
Depending on the kind of blood test ordered, the blood sample is analyzed. For instance, to check the basic metabolic panel, the blood will be checked for the levels of sodium, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, blood urea nitrogen, magnesium, glucose and creatinine. At times, even the levels of calcium may be measured.
For checking the blood for blood sugar or cholesterol, the blood sample has to be extracted after the person has fasted for a period of 8 hours. Hence, the lab technician should inquire with the patient about the duration of the fasting prior to extraction.
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