Follow Your Blood Sample
What happens to your blood sample once it’s been collected?
How a Blood Test is Done? Learn Blood Test Procedure in Lab from This Short Pune Pathology Laboratory Tour.
What happens to your blood sample once it’s been collected? It’s sent to the lab for analysis, but what does that entail? This article will take you on a step-by-step tour as a blood sample is processed. For every test, there is an appropriate sample that provides the best information for that test. In the laboratory, trained laboratorian use various methods to analyse your sample as determined by what types of tests you need to be performed.
Total Time: 1 day
Depending on the facility where you have your blood drawn, doctor, nurse, phlebotomist or other laboratorian, or another medical professional, will draw your blood. A phlebotomist has inserted a needle into a vein on the outer portion of the arm near the elbow. When multiple tests are ordered, over one tube of blood may be collected, and there is a specific order in which different collection tubes with special preservatives must be drawn.
Labelling the Blood and Urine Sample
Once the blood is drawn, the tube is labelled. In many labs, the label may be pre-printed with the patient’s name and unique patient identification number, or a bar-coded label carrying this information is used. It is essential that the person drawing the sample label the tube properly before leaving your side.
Registration, Documentation u0026amp; Pre Processing
After the sample has been collected and labelled, it is transported to the lab to be logged in. Depending on the test needed and where you have the sample drawn, your blood may be simply transported to the lab where the analysis is performed or transported to a lab that specialises in a particular blood analysis. Once the specimen arrives in the lab, however near or far away, your blood sample will be logged into the laboratory’s tracking system.
The tube label contains all the information necessary to ensure that the sample is analysed for the tests and the results are matched to your name. Usually, a written or electronic requisition form listing not only your information but also your health practitioner’s name and address is sent with the sample so the results can be sent to the person.
Depending upon the tests that have been ordered, your blood sample may be processed before it is analysed. Most routine laboratory tests are performed on either plasma or serum. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood. It is separated from the cellular portion of blood by whizzing the specimen in a centrifuge for several minutes. The plasma, which has a light yellow colour, appears at the top of the tube, while the blood cells are at the bottom.
The serum is plasma that has been allowed to clot. It is prepared in the same way as plasma; however, the blood is collected into a tube with no anticoagulant. While spinning in the centrifuge, the clot moves with the cells to the bottom of the blood collection tube, leaving the serum on top. For the test which requires whole blood (e.g., the complete blood count), the sample can be analysed directly without further processing.
In most cases, an instrument, appropriately called a blood analyser, analyses the blood sample. In this picture, the tube of blood is being placed directly into the machine. This state-of-the-art analyser can run batches of samples up to 120 samples per hour. Chemistry analysers use the serum and/or plasma, and haematology and coagulation analysers use blood that contains an anticoagulant to prevent clotting.
With the latest technology in analysers comes the ability to generate the results electronically and graphically. Here, the results will be sent electronically to the patient and doctor. In many situations, results are printed and then emailed. If the results show that the patient may be very ill, the laboratory will call the doctor with the results and then send the written or electronic report.
The time between the drawing of the blood and when the patient or doctor gets the results can vary, from as little as a few minutes to several weeks. Urgency, geographic distances, processing schedules, the complexity of the test, and other factors contribute to the time required before results are available to the health practitioner, who will then share the results with you, the patient.
- Blood Collected Tube or Vail
- Syringe, Blood Vials,
Materials: Tourniquet, Cotton swab
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