What is it?
Total Protein is a laboratory test that measures total proteins. The total proteins include albumin and globulins. Proteins are the main building blocks of tissues in the body. Albumin is a large protein. It moves medicines and other necessary things, such as hormones, in the blood to where they are needed. Globulins are the key makers of such things as antibodies. Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of tissue. They are also found in all cells and body fluids and do many important jobs.
Why do I need it?
Caregivers may want your blood tested for protein to help find out problems you may have. These problems may include:
- Impaired (weak) nutrition.
- Chronic (frequent) swelling.
- Kidney and liver disease.
- Some types of cancer.
- Immune disorders (illness).
How do I get ready for the test?
Your caregiver will tell you when to have your blood test done. The blood test may be done before or after eating.
How is the specimen collected?
A caregiver will put a wide rubber strap around your arm and tighten it. Your skin will be cleaned with alcohol. A small needle attached to a special test tube will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. The tube has suction to pull the blood into it. When the tube is full, the rubber strap, needle and tube are removed. The caregiver will press a piece of cotton where the needle was removed. You may be asked to hold the cotton on the site for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. Tape may then be put over the cotton on your arm.
What do I do after the test?
You may remove the tape and cotton in about 20 to 30 minutes. Call your caregiver to get the results of your test. Your caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you. Follow the instructions of your caregiver.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.