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Blood Test News

Dr Johnson's Blog
Dr Johnson provides feedback on all out of range private blood tests. Some examples, and reports can be seen here. Patient names have been removed and personal data that may link patients to reports has also been removed. Dr Johnson reports on all out of range results as part of this private blood testing service. By providing a doctor's comment on all out of range results, Blue Horizon Medicals goes further than any other provider to ensure that your health status is professionally realised.
This month from Dr Johnson...

The Vacutainer

The VacutainerThis post will look at the vacutainer blood collection methodology; defining what a vacutainer is and summarising how when and why they are used as well as the advantages of this system when using Blue Horizon Medicals services.
Previous blood collection methods were time consuming and laborious so when, in 1949, Joseph Kleiner patented the first evacutainer (now commonly known as vacutainer) it signalled the start of a vast improvement in both blood collection and analysis. Allowing greater accuracy, efficiency and safety for the phlebotomist whilst affording the patient a much more pleasant experience, it was the birth of the blood collection process we still use today.

Investigation of Chest Wall Pain

The VacutainerBlood tests that can show recent heart muscle damage include CK-MB (peaking at 48hrs), lactate dehdrogenase and troponin.
Creatinine kinase levels rise if there is any muscle inflammation (including heart). CRP levels are useful pointers to inflammation from some cause - but are non specific.

Health Check Comment for Aspergillus

The VacutainerDiagnosis should be made by a chest physician and a chest X ray would normally be required in addition to any blood testing.
most commonly encountered conditions are allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, pulmonary aspergilloma, and invasive aspergillosis.

Mercury Health Check

The VacutainerMercury poisoning - identified at intervals throughout modern history.
The term 'mad as a hatter' has its origins in the association noted between milliners and madness, who in the course of manufacture of felt hats in the 18th and 19th centuries, were exposed to mercury containing compounds

Screening for Hepatitis C

The VacutainerHepatitis C can be a brief and mild illness, and it may leave no consequences. More often, after a mild illness, the individual becomes a 'carrier' of the virus, and is prone to chronic liver disease later in life.
What is probably less known however is that there is effective treatment for Hepatitis C now freely available. Only 3% of those who know they have the virus are treated each year.

Uric Acid and Gout

The VacutainerWhat is the problem with uric acid (urate) then? Uric acid is a normal 'end product' of purine breakdown (or more generally speaking from various proteins) in our bodies.
It is a painful condition, and may be confused for 'wear and tear' arthritis - but treatment is available, for both the acute attack and to prevent relapse.

CRP screening Tests

The VacutainerC reactive protein (CRP) test- if I could only have one test of my current state of health this is the one I would choose. Why?
CRP is an 'acute phase protein' - present in the blood to a significant degree (that is greater than 5mg/l) only when there is active inflammation, of some type, somewhere in the body.

Antibody Testing within health assessments

The VacutainerThere are a number of reasons for requesting tests as part of a health assessment for specific or general antibodies, or antigens, in the blood. It is a subject that creates confusion, but the principles are fairly straightforward.
The level of antibodies in a blood sample is measured and expressed as eithera titre (or concentration)