Private Blood Test
Blood tests are the most common type of medical test with most people having a number of blood tests throughout their lifetime. They can be used in a number of ways such as:
- To examine your general state of health
- To investigate whether you have an infection
- Help to diagnose a condition
- Assess the effectiveness of a treatment or medication
- Evaluate the health of specific organs such as liver and kidneys
- Screen for certain genetic conditions
Blood tests typically only take a few minutes to complete and are carried out by our pharmacist or a phlebotomist (a specialist in taking blood samples). Some of the most common blood tests include:
A complete blood count (CBC)
A complete blood count is one of the most common blood tests and is often part of a routine check up to evaluate your overall health. The CBC can detect a wide range of disorders and diseases such as anaemia, infection, clotting problems and blood cancers.
Blood chemistry tests
Blood chemistry tests measure amounts of certain chemicals in a sample of blood. These tests provide information to doctors about whether your muscles, bones and organs are working and can help spot abnormalities. You may be told to not eat or drink anything for several hours prior to having a blood chemistry test. Blood chemistry tests may also be called chemistry panels.
Blood enzyme tests
Enzymes are chemicals that help regulate chemical reactions in your body. A blood enzyme test analyses specific enzyme activity. Certain diseases or conditions can stop these enzymes from working or become less efficient. Observing the increase and decrease of enzyme levels can assist the diagnosis of a variety of conditions.
Blood tests to assess heart disease risk
A lipoprotein panel is a blood test that can help determine if you are at risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) before you show any symptoms.
In many cases, general blood tests will not be adequate to reach a diagnosis and additional tests will be necessary. If a person is experiencing symptoms of an illness or infection, they may receive a blood test to diagnose what the issue is. Blood tests assess levels of different chemicals, cells and enzymes in the blood with low or high levels indicating that a person has an illness or infection.
Blood tests involve taking a sample from a blood vessel in your arm. The arm is an appropriate part of the body to use as it can be easily uncovered and provide veins close to the surface such as the elbow or wrist.
The clinician starts by cleaning the area on your arm where they plan to take the blood sample and putting a tight band around your upper arm, causing the vein to swell and become more visible.
The blood sample is taken by a needle attached to a syringe and inserted into the vein. You may feel a minor prickle or scratching sensation as the needle is inserted but it shouldn’t be painful. When the sample has been taken, the needle and rubber band is removed pressure is applied to the skin for a few minutes, before covering the entry point with a bandage or cotton wool and medical tape.
Recovery and Complications
Only a small amount of blood is taken during the test so you shouldn’t feel any major after-effects. In some cases, people may feel unsteady or light-headed – if you have experienced these reactions yourself, you should inform the person carrying out the test and they will ensure they make you feel as comfortable as possible, both during and after the procedure. You may also receive a small bruise where the needle went in which will last a few days but is usually harmless.
After the sample has been taken, it will be sent to a laboratory where it will be examined or tested with chemicals depending on why it is being checked. You will be informed when your results are likely to be ready and how you will receive them. Some test results will be available the same day while others , the next day.
Blood tests are carried out every day and on the whole is a very safe procedure.