What are blood tests?

Blood tests are one of the most widely used tests and make it possible, by means of a simple venous sampling, to check the values of the main blood components and thus provide important information on the patient’s health and the functioning of his or her body

The doctor may prescribe different types of tests depending on the patient’s needs and what needs to be investigated.

Some of the blood tests that are considered routine are the following:

  • Blood glucose
  • Creatinine
  • Homocysteine
  • Azotemia
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (GOT-AST)
  • Alanine aminotransferase (GPT-ALT)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
  • Creatine phosphokinase (CPK)
  • Gamma GlutamylTranspeptidase (GGT)
  • Amylase
  • Triglycerides
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL-cholesterol
  • Bilirubin
  • Iron
  • Uric acid
  • Haemochromocytometry

What are blood tests for?

Blood tests are used to detect substances circulating in the body and to check the function of organs; the results should then be shared with one’s doctor or the specialist who prescribed them, who will then proceed to read the values correctly, assign them a correct weight and possibly include them in a diagnostic pathway.

How do blood tests work?

Blood tests are carried out by venous sampling preferably between seven and nine in the morning.

The patient, on an empty stomach, sits in the outpatient clinic for a few minutes and the operator proceeds to take the sample in a few simple steps.

The nurse disinfects the part of the forearm where he or she will insert the needle, proceeds to apply the tourniquet, asks the patient to close his or her fist, and once the vein has been located, inserts the needle.

At this point, the patient opens his hand again, the tourniquet is loosened and the blood sampling is completed by removing the needle and transferring the blood into one or more test tubes depending on the type of test prescribed.

Once the sample has been taken, a cotton ball and a strip of medical tape is applied to the affected area, which the patient is asked to hold for about ten minutes. The results are usually available in a short time: a few days to a week.

Are there any preparation rules?

Sampling is performed in the morning, preferably before nine o’clock.

The doctor will suggest for which specific tests it is necessary to be fasting.

Which patients can take blood tests?

In order to have blood samples taken, it is necessary to be in possession of a doctor’s referral specifying which tests you need to undergo.

Is it painful or dangerous?

The test is not dangerous and is not painful, you may feel the pinch of the needle entering your arm.

Many people, however, express discomfort with this type of test and generally prefer not to watch the nurse’s manoeuvres.

The blood draw is resolved within a few minutes, so if the idea of drawing blood makes an impression, it is advisable to try to distract yourself by looking away or chatting with the nurse.

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