Blood Tests and Labs
Blood tests are a key tool that doctors use to monitor your health, diagnose conditions, and check to see if treatments are working.
At La Paz Medical and Dental Group, you may requested to have a blood test for several possible reasons, including the following:
To assess your blood type and if it is compatible with the available banked blood
Organ function and disease
To determine the health of your heart, kidneys, and liver and assess their hormone levels, enzymes, and electrolytes
Drug toxicity and potential overdose
To measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system
To test for the presence of bacteria, parasites, or fungi in the blood and to determine which drugs are most appropriate to prescribe for them.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A BLOOD TEST
Blood tests generally follow the same procedure every time, although the length of time required may vary according to the purpose of the test. A small sample takes just a few minutes to collect, but a larger amount, such as for blood donation, may take ten minutes or more.
When you come to our Los Angeles medical clinic for your blood test, you will be asked to roll up your sleeve on one arm so the person performing the test can access your veins. They may use a tourniquet (an elastic band that is tied around your arm) to restrict the blood flow and make it easier to find the vein. Once an appropriate vein has been located, the technician will gently probe the area to feel for the size of the vein.
Next, they will clean the area with a disinfecting wipe or a pad soaked with alcohol and insert the needle. This may take a few attempts, and if it turns out the vein is too difficult to access, they may look for a different vein to try.
Once the needle is inserted successfully, your blood will be connected to a tube or syringe for collection. When a large enough sample is collected, the technician will untie the tourniquet and remove the needle.
At this point, you will be given a cotton swab or bandage to apply to the area. It’s important that you apply moderate pressure to the area for a few minutes to prevent bruising.