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A blood test is a laboratory analysis performed on a blood sample that is usually extracted from an arm vein using a syringe, or via fingerprick.
Additional recommended knowledge
Venipuncture is useful as it is a relatively non-invasive way to obtain cells, and extracellular fluid (plasma), from the body for analysis. Since blood flows throughout the body, acting as a medium for providing oxygen and nutrients, and drawing waste products back to the excretory systems for disposal, the state of the bloodstream affects, or is affected by, many medical conditions. For these reasons, blood tests are the most commonly performed medical tests.
Although the term blood test is used, most routine tests (except for most haematology) are done on plasma or serum.
Phlebotomists, laboratory technicians and nurses are those charged with patient blood extraction. However, in special circumstances, and emergency situations, paramedics and physicians sometimes extract blood. Also, respiratory therapists are trained to extract arterial blood for arterial blood gasses, though this is a rare occurrence.
Types of blood tests
For the majority of blood tests, blood is usually obtained from the patient's vein. However, other specialized blood tests, such as the Arterial blood gas, require blood extracted from an artery. Blood gas analysis of arterial blood is primarily used to monitor carbon dioxide levels related to pulmonary function. It is also required, however, when measuring blood pH and bicarbonate levels for certain metabolic conditions.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blood_test". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|