March 20, 2019
A blood test can detect diseases and medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. A blood test can also reveal how major organs are functioning and whether your medications are working correctly. But what exactly happens to your blood at a blood lab after it’s drawn?
How is Blood Drawn for a Blood Test?
When you arrive at one of our blood work labs, a doctor or phlebotomist will tie a rubber tourniquet around the upper part of your arm and ask you to make a fist. This makes the veins in your arm bulge and stick out so the phlebotomist can easily find a vein.
Then, the phlebotomist draws blood from a vein in your arm using a needle. The needle used to draw blood is attached to a small test tube that allows your blood to go directly into the tube. After the test tube is filled, the tube seals on its own as a safety mechanism.
In some instances, the phlebotomist may attach additional tubes to the needle to collect more than one blood sample before removing the needle. The entire process usually takes no more than three minutes.
How is Blood Tested in a Blood Lab?
Diagnostic laboratories can test your blood in different ways depending on the reason for your blood test. Your blood may be checked using a complete blood count (CBC), which tests for blood disorders and abnormalities and can estimate the number of white and red blood cells in your body.
To perform a complete blood count, a lab technician places your blood sample into a machine that analyzes how your blood cells respond to light. Then they use this data to help your doctor detect medical conditions like anemia, tumors, respiratory and circulatory disorders, lymphoma, allergies, and asthma.
Your blood sample may also be placed into a centrifuge, which is a machine that spins your blood around very quickly for several minutes to force your blood cells to the bottom of the test tube. This leaves your blood serum at the top of the test tube, which lab technicians can analyze without interference from the cells.
A centrifuge can help lab technicians detect substances in the blood that may be affecting your metabolism and organ function. This blood test method can also measure your hormone levels and detect markers for serious diseases like cancer.
Getting Your Blood Test Results
Our medical lab will deliver test results to your doctor within hours or days, depending on the methods being used to test your blood. If we detect markers or abnormalities, we will refer you to the right medical specialist who can properly treat your condition. We understand how anxious you may feel about your blood test results, and will keep you informed every step of the way as we work toward developing a comprehensive treatment plan.
At Healthcare Associates of Texas, our staff is experienced in blood work and are devoted to helping you understand your blood test results. Our primary care physicians and medical specialists will work with you one on one to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and the highest quality personalized care and treatment. Schedule an appointment or call us today at (972) 258-7499.