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Haemoglobin Test

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HAEMOGLOBIN TEST DEFINITION

This is done to test the haemoglobin content of blood, which is a compound contained in red blood cells that is critical for carrying oxygen.

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST PURPOSE

This is done to test red blood cell content in whole blood, and is often combined with hematocrit tests for greater overall precision. It can be used to test whether a blood donation is suitable for use (as with other blood work). It may detect abnormalities in haemoglobin content, indicating, in turn abnormalities in red blood content. However, by itself, it does not say why the abnormality has occurred. Alternatively, patients undergoing treatment for blood ailments might have their progress monitored through this and associated blood tests.

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST RISKS

The test is quite non-invasive, only requiring the collection of a small blood sample. Risks arise mostly from contaminated or dirty equipment or from collection by a practitioner who is not skilled.

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED

Preparation is minimal. Perhaps the most complicated parts involve making sure the doctor is aware of factors, such as a recent blood transfusion, that might somehow affect the results.
HAEMOGLOBIN TEST
Image: HAEMOGLOBIN TEST

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST PROCEDURE

As with other blood tests, skin is swabbed with antiseptic and punctured with the needle of a sterilized collection syringe. It is then put through a battery of lab tests, of which the haemoglobin test is often only one.

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST COMPLICATIONS

This is not an invasive procedure. Complications may arise, perhaps, if the person has severe hemophilia.

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects are not significant, unless perhaps a large amount of blood was collected for many tests.

HAEMOGLOBIN TEST RESULTS

The results are usually combined with the hematocrit test, and are similar to a person’s hematocrit levels, especially if the person is getting blood tests over time to monitor treatment progress (high red blood cell percentages are usually accompanied by high haemoglobin levels, in other words). They may, however, be affected by factors such as smoking and living in high-altitude areas, which push the body to produce more haemoglobin in an attempt to compensate for factors that make it difficult to get oxygen.
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