411 on Blood Testing
Many of us have had to go through blood testing, or at least know someone who has. We sit down, sometime hungry if we’ve been required to fast, give the nurse our arm, get the “You Rock!” sticker and move on with our day. Think that’s all there is to it? Guess again. There is much more to blood testing than you may think. Here’s the 411.
Make up of blood
You probably learned this in your basic anatomy class in high school, but let’s refresh. Your blood is made up of red and white blood cells. The red cells get oxygen from the lungs and distribute to all parts of your body. The white blood cell’s main role is to defend the body against infection. There are many types of white blood cells but each play an important part of the immune system.
Different kinds of blood draws
When determining how you are responding to something, samples of your blood may be taken over a period of time. If only a small amount is needed then a prick on the tip of the finger or earlobe may only be necessary. This is most commonly done when checking the blood sugar level. For these it’s also common for the doctor to ask you to fast beforehand. Some tests are taken from an artery in the wrist. These measure the level of oxygen in the artery. Most likely when you’ve had blood drawn they’ve gone through the vein on your elbow. This is because it’s easily accessible for the nurse and he or she needs a larger artery to pull a bigger sample.
Reasons for testing
There’s a handful of reasons you may need to go through blood testing. One is that your doctor may need help diagnosing certain conditions you have, or needs to rule them out if symptoms suggest them. Another is to monitor how well your body is responding to the treatment you are undergoing. Lastly, blood testing can provide a “status report” to your doctor. This could be because your medication is hard on your liver or kidneys or for many other monitoring reasons such as an annual physical wellness check. The most common tests, test for full blood count, kidney and liver function, blood sugar level, and blood clotting tests.
The most common complication from a blood test is bruising at the site where the needle was inserted. This normally doesn’t need to raise concern. One reaction however, is if the blood draw site becomes red and inflamed. This is a sign that an infection has developed and you should notify your doctor immediately.
From the makeup of your blood to the different ways to draw it, there are a lot of things to learn about the blood testing process. At Cover-Tek, we offer hundreds of different lab tests. No doctor’s order required, no appointment necessary and most results come within 72 hours. Come in today and see what we can do for you in terms of blood work.