Diagnostics 101: Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy is the correct term for the commonly-referred to as blood extraction for laboratory studies. It is a procedure which uses a needle to prick a vein and then extract the blood for diagnostic purposes. It is sometimes referred to as venipuncture.

When you go to a doctor for a complaint, one common procedure ordered is examination of the blood in the laboratory. You will be told to submit yourself, either fasting or non-fasting, for blood extraction in a laboratory identified by the doctor or you can go to any laboratory of your choice. The samples collected, via a sterile tube, vary in number, depending on the studies ordered. CBC (complete blood count) is always the first to be ordered and can reveal abnormalities in the numbers which would then require further investigations.

As a full-time patient, I have had countless visits to the laboratory, which are always timed every three months or quarterly, in a year. With quite a number of major diseases, almost all studies that can be ordered by the attending physicians, in order to reach a correct diagnosis, or to gauge an existing condition, I already have been through.

The most common ordered blood examinations, in my case, are the so-called Cardiac Profile, Liver Profile, Kidney Profile, and always the CBC. For my cancer, there is what is termed as Oncology Profile and CBC is also always accompanying the laboratory order.

The blood has hormones in its composition and the most-ordered study for my case, is the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which result I should have prior to a visit to an Endocrinologist. As a diabetic, a fasting blood sugar (FSB) is a must, as well as Hb1Ac, which results, I also should have when I visit my Diabetologist.

For as long as I continue to get followed up by quite a number of Specialists in Kuwait, visits to the laboratory will always be part and parcel of my life as a multimorbid person. I have no complaints though and in fact, I am very thankful to God for allowing me to enjoy the privilege of being seen regularly by quite a number of Specialist in Kuwait, for free!

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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