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Blood Test: When should people get their blood tested?

A blood test is a laboratory investigation of a person’s blood from an arm vein using a hypodermic needle or a finger prick. Multiple tests for specific blood components, such as a glucose or cholesterol test, are sometimes bundled into a single test panel known as a blood panel or blood work. Blood tests are often used in health care to evaluate physiological and biochemical conditions such as illness, mineral content, medicine efficacy, and organ function.

What does a blood test show?

Some blood tests can help you determine how your body’s different organs are functioning. The thyroid, liver, and kidneys are examples of organs whose dysfunction can be seen in a blood test.

Blood testing can also be used to look for illness and health status markers, such as-

  •     Hepatitis
  •     HBV Antibodies
  •     Various inflammatory conditions
  •     Cancer markers such as CA-125, Cyfra 21-1
  • Thyroid disorders

Types of blood test:

  • Complete blood count: A complete blood count is a test that determines the concentration of red blood cells in the body. The blood contains white blood cells and platelets. This examination is carried out using automated cell counters.
  •   Blood smear: Blood drops smeared across a microscope slide, to be analyzed in a laboratory by an expert, usually a pathologist. A blood smear can detect leukaemia, anaemia, malaria, and a variety of other blood diseases.
  •   Blood type: Before having a blood transfusion, a compatibility test is performed. Protein markers (antigens) present on the surface of red blood cells indicate the major blood types (A, B, AB, and O).
  •   Coombs test: A blood test that looks for antibodies that can bind to RBCs and kill them. Anaemia testing can be done on pregnant women and adults who already have anaemia.
  •   Blood culture: A blood test to see if there is an infection in the bloodstream, such as septicemia. If bacteria or other organisms are present, they may proliferate in the blood that is being tested, allowing them to be identified.
  • Mixing study: A blood test to determine the cause of “too thin” blood (abnormally resistant to clotting). The patient’s blood is mixed with normal blood in a tube, and the properties of the combined blood can help determine a diagnosis.

When Should a person get his/her blood tested?

  • Haemorrhage (bleeding): Blood spilling from blood vessels, such as from a wound penetrating the skin, may be visible. Internal bleeding may not be visible right away. A hematoma is an accumulation of blood within the tissues of the body. Hematomas are commonly caused by internal haemorrhages.
  • Leukaemia: White blood cells proliferate inappropriately and circulate through the blood in this type of blood cancer. Infections are simpler to get owing to the abnormal white blood cells.
  • Multiple myeloma: Similar to leukaemia, plasma cell carcinoma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells. Multiple myeloma is associated with anaemia, renal failure, and elevated blood calcium levels.
  • Lymphoma: White blood cells multiply inappropriately inside lymph nodes and other tissues in this type of blood cancer. Organ failure can result from growing tissues and disruption of blood processes.
  • Anaemia: A blood count of red blood cells that is abnormally low. Anaemia can induce fatigue and shortness of breath, even though it typically goes unnoticed.
  • Hemolytic anaemia: Anemia is a condition in which a high number of red blood cells break at once, causing anaemia (hemolysis). One cause is a malfunctioning immune system.
  • Hemochromatosis: A condition in which the blood contains an abnormally high amount of iron. The accumulation of iron in the liver, pancreas, and other organs, results in liver disease and diabetes.
  • Sickle cell disease: A hereditary disease in which red blood cells lose their correct form regularly (appearing like sickles, rather than discs). Blood cells that have been distorted deposit in tissues, causing discomfort and organ damage.
  • Bacteremia: Infection of the blood with bacteria. Blood infections are dangerous, and they frequently necessitate hospitalization and antibiotic infusions into the veins.
  • Malaria: Plasmodium infection of red blood cells, a parasite spread by mosquitoes. Malaria produces intermittent fevers, chills, and organ damage.
  • Thrombocytopenia: Platelets in the blood are abnormally low. Bleeding can occur as a result of severe thrombocytopenia.
  • Thrombocytopenia: Platelets in the blood are abnormally low. Bleeding can occur as a result of severe thrombocytopenia.
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): An uncontrollable process of bleeding and clotting in very small blood vessels at the same time. DIC is most commonly caused by serious infections or malignancy.
  • Haemophilia: A blood-clotting protein deficiency that is inherited (genetic). Haemophilia can cause uncontrollable or frequent bleeding.
  • Hypercoagulable state: A variety of circumstances can cause blood to clot. The result could be a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in the legs or lungs.
  • Polycythemia: The quantity of red blood cells in the blood is abnormally high. Polycythemia can be caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood or it might be a cancer-like illness.
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT): A blood clot in a deep vein, commonly in the leg, causes this condition. DVTs can cause a pulmonary embolism if they become dislodged and migrate to the lungs (PE).
  • Myocardial infarction (MI): A myocardial infarction, often known as a heart attack, happens when a blood clot forms suddenly in one of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Outcome

Blood tests could provide a realistic assessment of your general wellbeing. They’re also a useful way to detect the underlying medical conditions early on, as well as monitor how your body’s responses to various treatments. A routine blood test is performed on many people at least once a year.

Author

Yash Batra

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