The Role of Thorough Testing in Modern Pathology
Doctors utilize a variety of pathology tests to tell them about the state of their patients. One of the most common pathology tests ordered by physicians is a complete blood count (CBC) test.
A CBC is a blood test that can reveal much about your overall health. While it is a relatively common test, many patients are not sure why their doctors order it for them. These three common reasons explain why the CBC is one of the most important blood tests utilized in modern medicine today.
Checking for Blood Disorders
A CBC test can reveal relatively quickly to doctors whether or not you suffer from a blood disorder. Disorders like anemia can be easily detected in a CBC test. The test will reveal how many red blood cells are in your blood sample and how well they carry oxygen throughout the bloodstream.
If the CBC reveals a low red blood cell count, it could indicate that you suffer from a type of anemia. Your doctor can then recommend the best course of treatment, which could include taking multivitamins or iron supplements.
Explaining the Reason for High Fevers
Patients who suffer from high fevers likewise may undergo CBC tests. This test will reveal if the patient suffers from any illness or infection that could be causing the high fever. The test will also indicate if the patient has damage to a bodily system or internal organ like the kidneys or bladder.
Once the presence of an infection or illness is found, the doctor who ordered the test can either prescribe antibiotics or perform surgery on the patient. The CBC test will give the doctor the best idea of what could be wrong with the patient and what it could take to improve the patient’s health.
Checking the Effects of Medications
Finally, a CBC blood test may be ordered if the doctor wants to check to see how well certain medications are working in a patient’s bloodstream. For example, if the patient is undergoing chemotherapy, he or she may need a CBC test to determine if the chemo is targeting the right cells in the bloodstream or if it is minimizing the presence of cancer in the person’s body. The blood test will provide the results the doctor wants in a matter of hours, which allows the doctor to alter the treatment if necessary or continue the patient on the current course of medication.