A drug test is one of the most common lab tests done in the country today. There are two ways of conducting a drug screening. One, through a urinalysis and two, through a blood test.
Urine Drug Test
A urine drug test is often used to determine the use of both legal and illegal drugs. Legal drugs include prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Doctors use this as a resource providing an insight into a patient’s health and personal habits. Presently, there are 250 over-the-counter or prescription drugs that can make patients test positive for various substances in a urine drug test. There is one drawback, however. Urine drug test results cannot tell whether or not a patient was under the influence of any drug at the time of the test.
Blood Drug Test
A blood drug test, on the other hand, measures the actual amount of drugs in the blood at the time of the test. It is commonly done to determine the presence of various elements in the bloodstream. These include but are not limited to: nicotine, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cholesterol levels, hepatitis and protein levels.
Blood tests, unlike urinalysis, detect the presence of illicit drugs, not inactive drug metabolites. This means that only detectable remains in the blood of patients will be seen. Because of this narrow detection window, a blood test is usually conducted as soon as possible in order to detect any substances.
Things to Remember Before a Blood Test
It is your choice as to whether you want a urinalysis or a blood test. If you prefer the latter, here are some things you have to remember.
- The collection of blood samples is a standard procedure carefully performed by well-trained medical technologists.
- The majority of the patients do not suffer from any side effects, though a small percentage may experience some discomfort.
- A hematoma or lump may occur during a blood test. This may be caused by the needle passing through the underside of the vein and blood seeping out of the vein into the surrounding tissue. Just apply pressure for up to 5 minutes and then apply ice for another 5 minutes.
- Small bruises may appear at the venipuncture site due to blood leaking from the hole in the vein into the surrounding tissue. Apply pressure for at least three minutes to the affected site immediately after the blood test to prevent bruising.
- Some patients faint during a blood test. If you feel like fainting, inform the attending staff immediately. Stay in the lab’s collection room until you feel better.
Vista Clinical Diagnostics
2727 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #220, Tampa, FL 33607
Keywords: Drug test, Blood Test