Blood tests are necessary in the emergency room to gain information quickly for diagnosing and treating medical emergencies. A blood test involves withdrawing a sample of blood and sending it to a lab for analysis.
At Dignity Health, we perform prompt, high-quality blood tests in Arizona at our ERs. Our Phoenix area hospitals are located throughout the Phoenix area. Use our online InQuicker™ tool to select an estimated arrival time to your nearest Dignity Health ER location.
Why Doctors Perform Blood Tests at Dignity Health
Emergency blood tests fall into the following categories.
- Clinical chemistry tests give doctors information about substances in the blood that may indicate disease or organ dysfunction. Examples of clinical chemistry tests include electrolytes, hormones, and enzymes. Other tests can assess your body’s immune activity and determine whether you are having a heart attack or are in heart failure.
- Drug levels show doctors the amount of a drug in the blood. These tests may be necessary to identify drug toxicity or overdose due to acetaminophen, digoxin (s)lows heart rate to treat atrial fibrillation, ethanol (a)lcohol, lithium (a)ntidepressant, phenytoin (s)eizure medication, and theophylline (treats respiratory diseases), COPD.
- Microbiology tests reveal bacteria, fungi, or parasites in the blood. Examples include cultures to grow the organism and sensitivity tests to find out which drugs will work best to fight an infection.
- Hematology tests examine the amount of blood and plasma components and how they function. Examples are a CBC (c)omplete blood count and blood clotting function tests.
- Blood bank tests allow doctors to determine the type of blood that will be compatible for transfusion. Examples include blood typing and cross-matching tests for antibodies.
What to Expect With ER Blood Tests
In the emergency room, a doctor, nurse, or technician will draw your blood to collect the sample. Depending upon the test, several tubes (vials) of blood may be needed. Once your sample goes to the lab, it may take about an hour to get the results. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.
There are only minor risks from blood tests, including discomfort from the needle and bruising at the site.
Recovering After Blood Tests
The member of your health care team who draws your blood will apply pressure to the site to stop the bleeding. A small bandage with a cotton ball will be applied to absorb any remaining blood. You can usually remove the bandage within a few hours. Dignity Health provides trust emergency services, including blood tests, in Arizona.