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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is it?
A chemistry screen is a group of blood tests that tell about the various organ systems in your body. The entire chemistry screen can be done on a small sample of blood. The number of different blood tests done in the chemistry screen depends on the type of equipment the hospital or laboratory uses. Following are some of the organ systems and problems a chemistry screen gives information about.
- Dehydration (not enough fluid in your body) or over hydration (too much fluid in your body).
- Kidney function.
- Liver and liver function.
Why do I need it?
This group of tests is often done when you have a physical examination. If you are ill, the results from the chemistry screen may help your caregivers decide on your treatment.
How do I get ready for the test?
Your caregiver will tell you when to have your blood test done. Do not eat or drink anything, except water, for at least 12 hours before the test. Your caregiver will tell you if you should not take your medicines until after your blood is taken.
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.
Care AgreementYou 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. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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