Blood Tests: What Are They Used for?
If your doctor, employer or someone else has suggested that you get a blood test, don’t be worried. These are quick, easy procedures that are very common and are usually not a cause for concern. Although it may induce some temporary discomfort, there are rarely serious complications or reactions that occur from drawing blood.
When you go in for a blood test, your doctor will insert a needle in your arm in order to obtain a small blood sample. Sometimes they may also prick your finger. Usually you will not need to do anything to prepare for your appointment, but depending on the type of test, your doctor may tell you to fast for up to 12 hours before the procedure.
Once the drawing is complete, your blood will be analyzed by lab workers. At this point, they can use the sample to determine a variety of different health conditions. The most common type of test is an FBC (full blood count), where different blood cell types will be measured. Although this type of analysis alone usually cannot give a diagnosis, it may suggest health problems that can be confirmed from other symptoms and factors. FBC tests can show indications for issues such as anemia, viral infections, leukemia or inflammatory conditions.
Although FBC tests are the most common type, there are other analyses that can signal conditions such as arthritis, blood clots, diabetes, HIV, heart disease and more. There are also procedures that can determine genetic conditions and evaluate how well your organs are functioning. If you or your doctor suspects that you have some type of medical problem, then you will likely need to get a blood test. However, your doctor may also request that you have one taken at your regular check-up even if there aren’t any symptoms just to make sure everything is working properly.
Another common reason to get a blood test is that your employer or potential employer will request it, especially if they are considering hiring you. This will analyze your blood for drug and sometimes alcohol use. Pre-employment exams are common in professions where there is a higher risk of accidents that can be severely increased through drug or alcohol use. This may include jobs that use heavy machinery or require driving for long periods of time.
No matter the reason for your blood test, it is important to stay calm and follow any special instructions that your doctor gives you. Before you know it, the procedure will be over. For more information on blood testing in San Diego, please visit this website.
With over 25 years in the emergency medical industry, Jack Stewart is seeking to share his knowledge of urgent care and preventative medicine with the world. See more of his thoughts at dealing with emergencies blog on Wordpress.
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