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What is it?
Fibrinogen (feye-BRIN-oh jen) is a protein needed for blood to clot. Clotting is needed to stop bleeding in your body. This test measures the amount of fibrinogen in the blood. Fibrinogen levels normally increase when you are hurt, since your blood makes clots to stop the bleeding.
Why do I need it?
Blood levels of fibrinogen are used to check bleeding problems. Bleeding can happen if your fibrinogen level is too low. Some conditions such as liver disease and poor nutrition may cause decreased fibrinogen levels. Fibrinogen may increase if you have an inflammatory (in-FLAM-a-tohr-ee) condition such as rheumatoid (ROO-ma-toid) arthritis (ahr-THREYE-tis) and acute pneumonia (noo-MOH-nyah). Fibrinogen levels also increase after an injury, or you have coronary heart disease. Caregivers will explain the test and why you need it.
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. You may need to stop taking some medicines before the test. Ask your caregiver when you should take your usual medicines.
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 in place for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. Tape may then be put over the cotton on your arm.
What should 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.