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Health Information For Parents
A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken from the body to be tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working.
The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a blood test that gives doctors information about the body’s fluid balance, levels of electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and how well the kidneys and liver are working.
A CMP is done to learn information about the levels of:
Your child may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before a CMP. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results.
Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction.
Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:
In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a “heel stick collection.” After cleaning the area, the health professional will prick your baby’s heel with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.
Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.
Parents usually can stay with their child during a blood test. Encourage your child to relax and stay still because tensing muscles can make it harder to draw blood. Your child might want to look away when the needle is inserted and the blood is collected. Encourage your child to relax by taking slow deep breaths or singing a favorite song.
Most blood tests take just a few minutes. Occasionally, it can be hard to find a vein so the health professional may need to try more than once.
The health professional will remove the elastic band and the needle and cover the area with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.
Blood samples are processed by a machine, and it may take a few hours to a day for the results to be available. If the test results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it.
A comprehensive metabolic panel is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make the procedure easier.
A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.
If you have questions about the CMP, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.
Need to get a blood test? An MRI? These videos show what happens in 10 of the most common medical tests.
Sometimes you need a medical test to give your doctor more information about your health. Find out how 10 common tests are done in these videos for kids.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
A blood test might sound scary, but it usually takes less than a minute. Watch what happens in this video for kids.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of health problems that put kids at risk for heart disease and diabetes. With lifestyle changes, however, many kids are able to improve their health and reduce their risk of disease.
These videos show what’s involved in getting a blood test and what it’s like to be the person taking the blood sample.
Milk and other calcium-rich foods help build strong, healthy bones. But most kids and teens don’t get enough calcium. Here’s how to make sure that yours do.
This group of blood tests provides doctors with clues about how the body is working. Find out why doctors do these tests and what’s involved for teens.
A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a group of blood tests that provide doctors with clues about how the body is working. Find out why doctors do this and what’s involved for teens.
Blood tests and insulin injections can be a challenge for kids with diabetes and their parents. Here are some strategies for coping with these necessary procedures.
Metabolic syndrome is a signal that someone could be on the road to serious health problems. Find out more in this article for teens.
The blood glucose test, which measures the amount of sugar in the blood, may be done as part of a routine physical or to help diagnose diabetes.
The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child’s fist, are essential to our health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.
An alanine aminotransferase (ALT) blood test is often part of an initial screening for liver disease.
A basic metabolic panel (BMP), commonly ordered as part of routine medical exam, is a set of blood tests that gives information about sugar (glucose) and calcium levels, kidney function, and electrolyte and fluid balance.
Liver function tests can help doctors see if the liver has been damaged. They also can help diagnose infections and monitor medications that can cause liver-related side effects.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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