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Blood Test

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Only as long ago as the 1800s, the world was not aware that people had different blood types. Before this doctors were performing blood transfusions without screening tests so many times the patient would reject the blood and physicians did not know why. Then in 1901 and then in 1939, the four blood types, and then the rH factor respectively were discovered by Nobel Peace Prize winner Karl Landsteiner and his colleagues. Karl Landsteiner also discovered that our immune systems make antibodies for different types of blood. This discovery led to blood testing for disease and screening in blood banks which provided safe blood transfusions universally.

The four blood groups are:

  1. Type A. This blood type has a marker known as "A."
  2. Type B. This blood type has a marker known as "B."
  3. Type AB. The blood cells in this type have both A and B markers.
  4. Type O. This blood type has neither A or B markers

Blood borne illnesses started being tested for on premarital couples in the 1930s in the United States. They tested for syphilis and rubella to check for diseases before they would be granted a license and allowed to marry. In some states of the U.S. this is still practiced! Screening for other diseases in future spouses has included tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and HIV; of these, only HIV can be detected by blood tests. Illinois and Louisiana had passed legislation requiring HIV testing before marriage, but those laws did not last long as they are hard to justify.

Blood banks test for many different illnesses to screen blood before the blood is passed on for a transfusion for a patient in need. Blood was first tested for hepatitis B in 1971 and for HIV in 1985. Today, blood banks test for syphilis, West Nile VIRUS, hepatitis C, HIV and many other diseases. From this colorful history comes incredible research and scientific study via the bloodstream to discovering disease and how conditions work within the body. Blood is essentially our life source as it runs through our entire body and touches each organism within.

Blood tests can identify various types of illnesses in patients including cancer, anemia and even malaria. Blood monitoring can track levels of various components in our body to help manage a condition or illness such as blood glucose monitoring for diabetes patients. The most common tests of the blood are:

  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Blood enzyme tests
  • Blood tests to assess heart disease risk

The Blood Test at Home:-

Blood tests are not only about discovering a condition that has developed but also what level the condition may have progressed to. Home blood tests can now read your iron levels, thyroid antibodies, what your sugar levels are etc. This is a special tool to have when trying to come up with a management plan, provide treatment and monitor your health.

Blood Test

Blood tests are used to detect many different conditions and illnesses such as cancer, thyroid problems, STDs like HIV, Diabetes and the list goes on. They are also used to test blood when donating blood. Your health care provider should also test your blood throughout your pregnancy to see how your body and baby are traveling. In some states couples to be married are even required to have a blood test before saying “I do”. Our blood is our lifeline and many stories can be told by taking a sample of it from our bodies. To learn more about blood and why it used for tests for various factors, read through the following resources and links.

Learn about blood: American Red Cross: http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/what-happens-donated-blood/blood-testing

American Pregnancy Association: http://americanpregnancy.org/prenatal-testing/blood-test/

Testing before marriage: http://usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/blood_test_requirements/

The Ultimate Blood test: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sciam-body-the-ultimate-blood-test/