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What is it?

Creatinine (kree-at-a-nen) is a substance normally found in the body. It can be measured with a blood test. Creatinine levels are usually done with blood urea nitrogen (BUN). These are the most common tests to find out how your kidneys are working. For more information, ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout about the BUN blood test.

Why do I need it?

Blood tests, including creatinine and BUN, are often done when you have a routine physical (fizz-ih-kull) examination (eks-ah-mih-na-shun). Creatinine and BUN are removed from the blood through the kidneys. The results of these tests, whether normal, high, or low, tell caregivers how your kidneys are working. Creatinine levels may be used to follow conditions such as, dehydration (d-hi-dra-shun), complications of diabetes (di-uh-b-tees), or muscle wasting.

How do I get ready for the test?

Your health caregiver will tell you when to have your blood test done. The blood test may be done before or after eating. Your caregiver will tell you if you should not take your medicines until after your blood is taken.

How is the specimen collected?

A health 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 health 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 health caregiver to get the results of your test. Your health caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you. Follow the instructions of your health caregiver.

Care Agreement

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.