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How Long Does Blood Work Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 To 10 Minutes

There are always ways to find out about things that people don’t know. There are always unknown facts and information, that is very important to arrive at the right conclusion. In some situations, if the facts are not obtained and interpreted faster, it could lead to severe consequences. There are many types of tests, some academic, some industrial, and some medical. Medical tests are very important while examining a person, to find out what the person is ailing from. Among many tests conducted on a person, the most important and probably the first test that decides if there should be anymore is the blood test.

Blood tests can be used to confer all sorts of data about the body. From blood level, count to cholesterol levels, blood tests can prove everything a body is going through and what can be done to cure anything that is affecting the body’s day-to-day functioning.

Some tests and scans require machines, chemicals, medicines, and it also consumes a lot of time. On the other hand, all blood tests require, is a needle, a syringe, and a container to transfer the blood. The results of these blood tests only take about minutes to arrive at, because the test itself takes only a couple of minutes.

How Long Does Blood Work Take?

All about blood workTime
Average time to complete and process basic blood work5 to 10 minutes
The average time it takes to process CBC, basic metabolic panels, and lipid tests24 hours
Blood work for sexually transmitted infections 2 weeks

How long it takes to complete a blood test and arrive at the results, depends on why the blood test was administered in the first place, and what results should be consolidated from them. Blood tests can be administered on a person for various reasons, like finding the person’s blood group to finding if there are any deadly toxins mixed in their blood.

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Drawing blood is also called a venipuncture, and the people who perform them are normally called phlebotomists. The actual blood test takes only a few minutes, whatever its purpose may be. Normally, blood tests are administered by nurses on the patients. First, the nurses find the vein in a person’s forearm.

The area will be wiped clean with an alcohol wipe, and a tourniquet will be tied over an area, in the forearm, a little around the vein. The needle will be injected slowly into the vein and the needle will be connected to a sterilized syringe or a collection tube.

The nurse will draw blood, of about 10 ml and then transfer it into separate containers, based on the type of tests that should be administered on them. After the blood is drawn, the tourniquet will be removed and a bandage will be put over the puncture site.

Why Does Blood Work Take That Long?

According to the test, it can take days to weeks to arrive at the results. When the vein is found easily, the entire process will be over in just 5 to 10 minutes and if the veins are not visible clearly, it could take about 5 minutes longer. It is important to puncture the right vein.

How fast a vein is identified depends on factors like the experience of the nurse or the phlebotomist who draws the blood, the size of the patient’s veins, and if the patient is hydrated enough or not.

There are different types of blood tests, where the blood is drawn and different types of tests are administered on it to arrive at different results. Some of the most common blood tests doctors order include the complete blood count (CBC) blood tests, the basic metabolic panel, and much more.

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Conclusion

A complete blood count test is used to measure the amount of red and white blood cells, platelets, hematocrit, and hemoglobin in the blood. In a basic metabolic panel blood test, the number of common electrolytes in the blood will be measured.

For this blood test, the patient will be asked to fast for a while before the blood is drawn, and some of the common electrolytes measured in this test include blood urea nitrogen, glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium, CO2, chloride, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen. For both these tests, the results will be available in about 24 hours.

A lipid panel will also take 24 hours, but for a complete metabolic test, it will take about three days.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Fulltext/1998/11000/A_Longitudinal_Study_of_Job_Strain_and_Ambulatory.7.aspx
  2. https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/4624/0000/Clinical-results-from-a-noninvasive-blood-glucose-monitor/10.1117/12.468309.short
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