When you get your blood test done, you are often confused with the blood test results. While it is always best to have your doctor interpret the results for you, you could put those worries to rest a bit, if you are able to understand what labtest says in general. Here is a small guide to understanding tests and their results.
In a bloodtest report there are certain clerical entries that are mandated by law. Here are things that you can look out for. The patient and id number will be the first. This is to ensure that lab tests belong to the person that they are done for. The linking to the right patient is very important. Next you can look for the name and the location of the laboratory where the tests were done. This is essential in clinical labs reports so that it can be held accountable. Also, included will be the date when the report was done.
From here you will see the actual report in your blood tests. It starts with some basic heading such as hematology, chemistry, urinalysis, bacteriology, immunology and more. All of these are printed in a column like format to make it easier to read. Each of these will have reference ranges which will tell you what the normal range for healthy people is. This is for reference against your own range. What you must understand at this point is that the ranges can be slightly more or way off the normal ranges. This has to be interpreted according to the context your health is in. This is where the interpretation of a doctor helps the most.
The important thing in blood testing is that there is specimen source. This can be blood, urine or other bodily fluids and in each proteins can be measured in different ways. It is also important for the lab to record the time and date of the specimen collection because this can determine the quality of the specimen and the reason the results are the way they are.
There are numerous tests that can be done and this has to be specified on the report. Tests are also quantified in different ways - in some cases it's with figures and in other cases it is with percentages. There are a few others in which a positive or a negative sign will tell you the results. If there is something that should raise a flag, the lab will highlight that for quicker reference for your doctor.