Common Blood Tests

Testing blood is one of the most basic and most important things we do at Mary Greeley Medical Center. There are a variety of blood tests conducted by our Laboratory Services that can provide key information about your health status. 

Some patients require just one blood test, some need one each day, and still others require multiple reviews of blood throughout the day. Laboratory staff perform blood tests at Mary Greeley Medical Center, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What are Common Blood Tests?

There are seven common blood tests and one additional blood procedure performed at Mary Greeley Medical Center. They are:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) The complete blood count is one of the most common blood tests and is usually done as part of a routine check-up. In the CBC test, the different types of cells in the blood are counted and examined. Abnormal results may indicate anemia, blood loss, infection or leukemia. If you are being monitored for one of these conditions, your doctor may order this test at least once a day.
  • Electrolytes Maintaining salt and water balance is critical for good health. The electrolyte panel consists of tests (includes sodium and potassium)that indicate the concentration of salt and water in your body. Electrolyte imbalance may be caused by dehydration from vomiting or diarrhea, kidney disease, or congestive heart failure. Electrolyte levels can change rapidly so your doctor may order this test at least once a day.
  • Basic Metabolic Panel In addition to electrolytes, this group of tests include BUN, creatinine and glucose. BUN and creatinine are blood waste products and measure kidney function. Glucose measures the amount of sugar in your blood and is used to detect and monitor diabetes. The physician may need to see results from this test each day.
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel This includes those from the Basic Metabolic Panel as well as additional tests for liver function and bone health. Changes in liver function tests may be due to effects of medications or liver disease.
  • Protime or PTT These tests are used to verify normal blood clotting function and to monitor anticoagulant (blood-thinner) therapy. If you are being treated for heart attack, stroke, or a blood clot you will probably have this test done several times throughout the day.
  • Cardiac Enzymes Cardiac Enzymes are released from damaged heart tissue into the blood stream. Knowing the level of these enzymes in your blood helps your physician determine if you have had a heart attack. If you are in the hospital for a heart attack or chest pain, you will have this test done several times during the first 24 hours of your stay.
  • Blood Culture A blood culture detects and identifies bacteria in the bloodstream. Blood cultures usually require two separate samples in a short period of time.
  • Transfusion If you require a blood transfusion, you will be given blood that has been donated by healthy volunteers, tested to make sure it is safe and checked to match your blood type.

Learn More About Common Blood Tests

Has your doctor ordered a blood test? Do you have questions about a common blood test you’ve had at Mary Greeley Medical Center? Contact Laboratory Services at Mary Greeley Medical Center at 515-239-2123.

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