A blood test is described as a type of laboratory analysis that involves extracting a blood sample from a vein. The extraction during a blood test uses a needle in the arm, or by using a fingerprick. General blood tests are pretty common and are sometimes a natural part of the routine check-up or medical assessment.
General Blood Test: What Purpose does a Blood Test Serve?
A blood test, especially a general blood test serves many uses, both beneficial to the doctor and the patient. Some of the purposes that a blood test serves are:
- Check for your Overall Health – A general blood test, as well as a complete blood count, can be used as part of a regular medical check-up and can be an excellent indicator of how your overall health is doing.
- Diagnose Diseases – Blood tests can effectively show if you are suffering from any condition directly detectable in the blood. Diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes, anemia, coronary heart disease and most importantly HIV and AIDS. These diseases and conditions can be diagnosed with a lot of other procedures, but with blood tests, they become easy to diagnose.
- Check for Organ Function – A blood test, especially a general blood test can be used to evaluate how well your heart, liver, thyroid, kidneys and all other organs in your body are doing.
- Check for Medicines in your Body – General Blood tests can be used to diagnose if you have any medicines in your bloodstream, and to diagnose how well they are working or how well they are distributed in your system.
- Blood Clot– general blood tests can check if your blood is clotting properly or within normal limits.
- Heart Disease Risk – Last but not least, blood tests can also diagnose if you are at risk for any kind of heart disease.
General Blood Test: Most Common Types of Blood Test
There are many types of blood test out there, and what your doctor will prescribe for you will largely depend on what your condition is, or what your purpose is for getting a blood test. Although a blood test is a very common procedure and can have more than a dozen varieties, here are some of the most common types of a blood test that are used today:
- Complete Blood Count – or CBC, is one of the most common types of blood test out there. The CBC gives useful information with regards to the overall state of your blood, including the number of blood cells (both red and white) and the types of it there are in your bloodstream. This type of test is beneficial to the doctor as one single result of a CBC can be useful data for determining many other diseases and conditions you might be feeling.
- Blood Glucose Test – this type of blood test can be used to indicate if you are suffering from diabetes, and can also determine how well you have managed your blood sugar for the past few weeks or months. This is important as having both low and blood sugar levels can be detrimental to your health.
- Infectious diseases – A blood test like this is used to determine if the person is suffering from infectious diseases such as Hepatitis, Influenza, HIV, and H-Pylori. This is important if you feel your health has been compromised and you have been exposed to the aforementioned conditions so that you get an immediate confirmation.
- Organ Function Test – these types of tests are more extensive than a general blood test and can involve multiple processes in order to detect the presence or elevated levels of a certain substance or compound that may indicate a malfunction that organ. Some of the organs that benefit via a blood test are your liver, heart, and kidneys.
General Blood Test: What are the Procedures Involved In a Blood Test?
Simply put, a general blood test is done by taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in any part of your body. However, the most convenient and widely used part for the extraction of a blood sample is your arm, especially in the areas where the veins are closest to the skin.
A doctor will sometimes apply a tourniquet right above your arm, this is to partially cut off blood flow and cause the vein to swell, allowing for easy detection. The area where the blood sample is to be taken will be marked, and will then be cleaned with an antiseptic wipe.
The blood can then be taken by using a needle attached to a syringe. Needle extractions aren’t really painful, contrary to popular belief. After the blood sample has been extracted, a cotton wool will then be applied to the needle wound with pressure. This is to absorb the minuscule amount of blood that will ooze out.