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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.
A blood culture is a test that looks for germs (such as bacteria or fungi) in the blood. If germs are found, the test also can help doctors know which medicines will work best to treat the infection.
A blood culture is done when a child has signs of an infection that might be caused by bacteria or fungi. It also might be done if a child has an infection in one part of the body that may have spread into the blood.
Your child should be able to eat and drink normally unless also getting other tests that require fasting beforehand. 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:
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. Help 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 days for the results to be available. If the results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to help identify it and decide how to treat it.
A blood culture 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 blood culture, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.
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.
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 comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) blood test helps evaluate kidney and liver function, sugar (glucose) and protein levels in the blood, and electrolyte and fluid balance.
A blood test might sound scary, but it usually takes less than a minute. Watch what happens in this video for kids.
These videos show what’s involved in getting a blood test and what it’s like to be the person taking the blood sample.
Sepsis is a serious infection usually caused when bacteria make toxins that cause the immune system to attack the body’s own organs and tissues.
This common blood test helps doctors gather information about a person’s blood cells and how they’re working. Find out why doctors do this test and what’s involved for teens.
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.
The complete blood count (CBC) is the most common blood test. It analyzes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Doctors order basic blood chemistry tests to assess a wide range of conditions and the function of organs.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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