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Blood tests are often an essential factor when determining the cause of your cardiac symptoms. Your physician might order blood work for a number of reasons, including a distressed heart, an increased risk of heart attack or the possibility of heart disease or heart failure. It is important to get to a hospital quickly if you are experiencing severe cardiac symptoms in order to maximize your chances of effective treatment. Blood tests are an important diagnostic tool and can be used in clinic or emergency settings.
Blood tests are simple procedures that should cause very little discomfort. If your cardiologist orders blood work, he or she might be looking for:
These blood tests can be done quickly and with very little discomfort. The results can help your cardiologist determine the fastest and most effective treatment course for you, maximizing your chances for a positive outcome.
There is no preparation necessary for most of the above blood tests; some of them may be done in an emergency setting in response to chest discomfort or other severe cardiac symptoms.
If you experience chest pain, you should seek medical attention immediately, especially if you have shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and/or sweating. Do not hesitate to call 911 or go to your local emergency room if you experience any of these alarming cardiac symptoms.
Prior to taking blood, a technician will sterilize your arm with an alcohol swab and place a thick elastic band around the upper arm, helping your veins fill with blood. A needle is then inserted into your vein and blood is collected in vials. Once this is complete, the needle and band are removed from your arm and a pressure bandage is applied to the area. The blood vials are immediately sent to the laboratory for testing.
The procedure can be slightly uncomfortable during the blood draw, but it only lasts a minute. Remain still so that the medical technician can complete your test quickly.
Your physician will review your blood test results and incorporate the data into his or her treatment plan.