🩹Serum Test Details
🤔 What Is a Serum Test?
Blood is comprised of many components including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood - the portion that is not the cells or platelets. Serum is also liquid, but specifically liquid after blood has clotted; serum is plasma without clotting agents or fibrinogen.
The base blood draw is the same for any phlebotomy test (whole blood, serum, plasma); the treatment of the sample post collection is what makes a test a whole blood vs. serum vs. plasma test.
For a serum test, the blood draw will need time to clot and then will require a centrifuge to separate serum from the clotted blood. The phlebotomist should be equipped with a centrifuge to properly obtain serum for a serum test.
📝 How Do I Complete a Serum Test?
This test requires a phlebotomist to complete the blood draw. Information is provided via email on your personalized instruction sheet. Click here for more details on scheduling a draw.
All phlebotomy tests require a blood draw by a phlebotomist. Draws can be completed in clinics or via mobile phlebotomists that can usually come to your home or place of work.
The phlebotomist will likely follow the general process documented:
- Look at your veins (inside your elbow) to determine the best to use for the blood draw
- Place a tourniquet on the arm that will be used for the blood draw
- Clean the area in question with an alcohol pad
- Use needle to get blood draw and fill applicable tubes provided for each respective test
- Place bandaid where needle was after blood draw is complete
Detailed directions are provided in the kit and phlebotomists should review these review them prior to the blood draw and leverage to complete the draw!
🤯 What Should I Be Aware Of?
⤳ Preparing for my blood draw
- Some tests will require fasting for patients prior to a blood draw - be sure to read your personalized cheat sheet instructions!
- You cannot do this yourself! Phlebotomist options and information are provided via email on your personalized instruction sheet. Click here for more details on scheduling a draw!
📬 Shipping my sample
- Phlebotomy blood samples have an expiration date!!!
- Read kit instructions and pay special attention to shipping requirements
- Some labs provide specific days of the week for when samples should be drawn and shipped by due to time sensitivity for sample viability
- Prepaid shipping labels are included in all kits
- Completed tests typically require a drop off at FedEx or UPS
- We recommend going to an actual store location versus a drop box to avoid any complications around pick up times for shipping
💪 Will I feel bad?
- Blood draws do require a needle - but blood draws typically don't take too long and a small amount of blood is taken
- The typical amount of blood taken for a blood test is ~3ml, while a complete blood count (CBC) or complete metabolic panel (CMP) is 10ml. Keep in mind the average person has between 4,500 - 5,700 ml of blood 🙂
- Given the amount of blood taken in a blood test, most folks don't feel bad after the test. However, you know yourself best! Take whatever precautions feel right to you!
👀 What Should I Confirm With My Phlebotomist?
- Do they have a centrifuge to spin the blood sample?
- Are they able to draw to the specifications of the test?
- Who will be shipping the samples back to the lab company?
- What is the draw fee?
- How do I pay?