10 Things to Know About Blood Tests

Consistent blood testing is an important precautionary step in catching serious health issues before they occur. The most common types of blood tests are complete blood count tests and basic metabolic panels. Complete blood count tests checks the number of red and white blood cells and level of hemoglobin in the blood stream. Basic metabolic panel evaluates the function of vital organs by measuring the levels of electrolytes, calcium, and glucose. There are a number of things to keep in mind when taking a blood test.

  1. Doctors may not release the “good news” information. Generally, the bad news is more important for health purposes so the good news is omitted when a physician discusses blood work with a patient.
  2. Men and women have different blood counts and level that are considered normal.
  3. A number of factors may affect blood levels. Age, for instance, will change the healthy levels of glucose and cholesterol in the body.
  4. A “positive” test result may not mean positive news. Blood tests can check for many substances in the blood, including HIV and hepatitis. The results will read positive if these diseases are present, however it is not news a patient wants to hear.
  5. Similarly, a “negative” test result may not mean bad news. When being tested for infectious diseases, a negative result is actually a good thing, meaning the patient is healthy!
  6. False negative results may occur. Getting tested a number of times may be wise when there is a known likelihood that a patient was exposed to a disease.
  7. False positive results may also occur. Specifically in HIV rapid tests results, false positives are likely in 2 out of every 10 patients.
  8. Test values change from lab to lab, so more lab practice includes comparing what is normal to the blood levels of patients also receiving test work from that specific laboratory.
  9. Alcohol or food consumption before a blood test can severely skew the results.
  10. Mistakes do happen. Blood sampled may be mislabeled or switched. If something seems abnormal, consult your physician.

When taking certain medications, blood tests are required in order to avoid the risk of serious injury to a patient. Xarelto, a popular blood thinner on the market, does not require regular blood work and now may be responsible for the life-threatening bleeding incidents and fatalities of several of its users. If you or a loved one experienced adverse side effects after using Xarelto, contact a lawyer in your area to discuss your legal options.