Blood processing and analysis

Djegnene Penyel
4 min readNov 9, 2020

Recently I was listening to the podcast the dropout of ABC new. It tells the story of Theranos, a pharmaceutical company created by Elizabeth holmes that claim to have a device that could do a blood test and analysis it with only a drop of blood. This statement turns out to be false, but it left me wondering about the process behind blood. I am pretty sure that you had at some point done a blood test but usually, we only see the beginning of the process, the part where the doctor or nurse drew blood with the help of a needle in a tube. But after this step, we are clueless about how it is done and how the result is made.

theranos pharmaceutical company

This article will try to demystify what occurs to our blood when it goes in a blood test.

Chapter one:

Blood tests are really helpful for doctors because they can help check for certain types of diseases and conditions.

When your doctor asks you to take a blood test the first step usually consists of a person who is either a nurse or a doctor to draw your blood. To help them to this task, they might tie a band around the upper part of your arm this action allows the vein to stick out more wich allow it to insert a needle in more easily This procedure is normally quick and easy but there is a possibility that it cause some sort of discomfort but most people do not have a severe reaction the having blood withdrawn.

The needle is connected to a tube and when the tube is full it will be removed one particularity of the test tube is that it seals itself on its own.

If you are getting more than one blood test more than one tube may be attached to the needle before it is removed.

Once the needle is removed the doctor or nurse will tell you to apply pressure with a bandage or a piece of gauze.

This step is normally fast and usually takes less than 3 minutes.

procedure of blood getting drawn

Paragraph 2:

After that, your blood has been drawn it is labeled and is his carried to a lab. Depending on the type of test needed and where your blood has been drawn the blood sample can either be transported to the lab where the analysis is performed or it can be transported to another lab more specialized.

When the blood sample arrived at the laboratory depending on the type of blood analysis that will be with the blood sample it may be processed before it is examined for example they might separate the blood cell from the fluid it contains which is named the plasma or the serum.

exemple of some blood sample preparation

Paragraph 3:

For the analysis itself, the most part is done with an instrument called a blood analyzer.

Here is two of the most common test that can be run on a test analyzer.

  • Complete blood count: it is usually used as a routine checkup and can help detect diseases and disorders like anemia and infection.
  • Blood chemistry: Use to measure different chemicals in the blood it is done on the plasma part of our blood and can give information on your muscle, bone, and organs.
exemple of a blood analyzer

Last step:

After analyzing the blood cell the analyzer generates the result electronically and graphically.

The result of the blood test can take from a few minutes to a few weeks.

exemple of test result