Laboratory tests are a crucial part of the diagnostic process. Accuracy of tests being performed is essential to obtaining the most precise information. There are many elements that could affect the outcome of results, and as such, each patient should consult with his/her health care provider to determine if certain medications should be stopped prior to testing. Other variables that may affect test outcomes include:
Diet and Excercise
Age and Sex
Smoking and Medication
If you may need to collect a specimen at home:
Certain containers may contain a powder or liquid preservatives. Be sure not to spill out any or discard any additives provided for urine or stool containers. Patients should adhere to the instructions given by their provider on specimen collection at all times.
To prepare for blood tests:
The amount of blood that must be collected is determined by the specific test that is required. Patients may be anxious about having their blood drawn, and should inform the health care professional if they feel faint or unwell. Fasting may be required for certain tests, limiting the patient to nothing but water for the 12 hours prior to testing. Blood thinners such as aspirin may elongate bleeding. If so, prolonged pressure should be added (if necessary) until bleeding comes to an end. Following the drawing of blood, patients should refrain from lifting or carrying with that arm for the minimum of an hour. If bruising and swelling occurs, an ice pack should be applied.
Analysis of results:
When interpreting results, personal and family medical history must be considered in conjunction with the physical data provided as per a physical examination.
As we provide numerous tests, the turnaround times vary. Some tests are available within a few hours. Others may not be available for several weeks.