A blood test is an examination of blood samples taken from the puncture of the fingers or through blood vessels in certain parts of the body, such as arms using needles. Blood tests aim to detect diseases, identify organ function, detect toxins, medications, or certain substances, and examine overall health conditions.
After the blood samples were taken, blood samples were inserted into a special small vial and then taken to the laboratory. At this place, blood samples will be examined under a microscope or tested with chemicals, depending on the type and purpose of the blood test.
Why Blood Test?
Blood flows throughout the body, acting as a medium that carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and entire cells. Blood also carries waste products back to the excretory system for disposal. Blood flow in the body affects or is influenced by many medical conditions. For this reason, blood tests are one of the most common tests or supporting examinations to do.
Some other reasons why blood tests done are as a way to monitor activity and the severity of certain conditions. In addition, blood tests also serve to conduct blood group checks before receiving blood transfusions, to determine the consumption of illegal drugs, as well as determining the appropriate treatment for patients with certain diseases.
When to do a blood test?
Not having to wait for the body to be infected, blood screening needs to be done with awareness of the health condition of the body, nor have to wait for referrals or recommendations from the doctor. Blood screening can be done routinely every one or two months, but some are doing it once a year.
However, blood check should be done immediately and still get regular monitoring if you have a history of diabetes mellitus, cardiac, hypertension, cancer, or other blood-related diseases. In addition, blood screening should also be done if you have a high fever that never subsided for three consecutive days, diarrhea and vomiting, dementia in elderly, and headaches that do not subside.
Not to be missed, pregnant women also have to do a blood check regularly to check the health condition of mother and fetus in the womb, also detect the presence of diseases that can affect the pregnant women. There are no exception to married couples, or often called pre-marital checkups.
Types and functions of blood tests
There are several types of blood tests and functions that need to be known, including:
Complete blood test.
This test cannot provide a definitive diagnosis of the body condition. However, this test can provide clues regarding the risk of illness. Through the complete blood test, one knows the level of hemoglobin, white blood cell count, Hematocrit, and Blood chip (platelets).
C-reactive protein test
C-reactive protein test, i.e. A protein produced by the liver. This test aims to determine the presence of inflammation, characterized by higher levels of C-reactive proteins in the body.
Levels of erythrocyte sedimentation (blood erythrocyte sedimentation rate).
This test is done to determine the severity of inflammation in the body. Either caused by infection, tumor, or autoimmune disease. It works by looking at the speed of red blood cells that settles to the test tube base.
The quicker the red blood cells settle, the higher the level of inflammation. Conditions that can be diagnosed through this test are endocarditis, rheumatoid arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatica, inflammation of the veins (vasculitis), and Crohn’s disease.
The electrolyte is a mineral that serves to maintain the balance of healthy water content in the body, supports electric nerves, helps to move nutrients into the body cells (and waste produced), as well as stabilizing the levels of alkaline and acid in the body.
Changes in the level of electrolytes in the body are caused by many factors, such as diabetes, dehydration, renal failure, liver disease, heart disorders, or undergoing certain medications.
Coagulation tests, to see the presence of blood clotting problems. For example, in the disease of Von Willebrand and hemophilia.
Thyroid function tests.
This test is performed if the doctor suspects an underactive or overactive thyroid.
Enzymes linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Test, to see antibodies in the body. ELISHA’s tests were carried out for the diagnosis of HIV, Toxoplasmosis, and allergies.
Blood gas analysis
Blood gas analysis, conducted to evaluate the acidity (pH) of blood and blood levels of gas (such as oxygen and carbon dioxide). Impaired lung and renal function can be detected through this examination.
Blood tests to assess the risk of heart disease.
Aims to determine the risk of coronary heart disease, through examination of good cholesterol levels (high density lipoprotein / HDL), bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein / LDL), and fat in the blood (triglycerides). You are encouraged to fast for 9-12 hours before the test.
Complete blood test procedure
Blood screening is carried out by taking blood from the veins located close to the skin’s surface. The most commonly chosen area is the elbow fold. The test work is fairly straightforward and only takes a few minutes.
The following are the steps performed by a nurse or a laboratory officer when sampling blood for a full blood test:
- Cleans the skin area at the site of blood sampling, using an antiseptic solution.
- Tying the elastic strap at the top of the blood intake location, so that the blood flow is unstoppable in the area.
- Insert the needle into the veins and suck out the amount of blood needed, then slap it in a small tube.
- Closes the scars of the needle puncture with a bandage.
- Pasting the label contains the name and the time of the blood sampling on the blood container tube, then sends it to the laboratory for inspection.
This procedure can feel a little uncomfortable, especially when the needle is piercing the skin. Afterwards, there may be a slight bruising in the blood sampling site.