Blood tests can be ordered for routine annual checkups, as part of a diagnostic procedure, or to evaluate the progress of your current treatment. Accurately interpreting your results is crucial to planning your treatment, which is why you should always take your blood work back to the doctor that ordered it to figure out what you should do next.
Sometimes, your doctor may not be able to interpret your results accurately. In that case, they may order you to repeat your blood test. There are several reasons this can happen, some of which can be prevented, so continue reading to learn the answer to the question: why do I need a repeat blood test?
Reasons to Get a Blood Test
Blood tests represent a doctor’s first line of defense against illnesses. They allow doctors to monitor their patient’s health, track the progress of treatment, or even identify life-threatening illnesses early enough to treat them.
Depending on the reason the test is prescribed, your doctor will order different types of blood work. This could include:
- CBC or complete blood counts to get a snapshot of your overall health by checking your blood contents
- A lipid panel to evaluate your cholesterol and predict your risk for heart disease
- Blood sugar monitoring through glucose or HbA1c blood test to monitor or diagnose diabetes
- Test your blood for the markers for certain cancers
- Evaluate your nutrient profile to check for metabolic or mineral imbalances
- Track the progress of a current treatment, such as blood sugar or cholesterol medication
Within these general reasons, you may need a blood test (and many more). There are hundreds of panels that a doctor could order, each with its own set of criteria for results. Evaluating each one in the context of your symptoms, your history, and your family background represents a crucial aspect of a doctor’s ongoing care for their patients.
Since accurate care demands accurate results, any time these tests come back inconclusive or difficult to interpret, your doctor may order the test to be repeated.
Why Do I Need a Repeat Blood Test?
There are many reasons to repeat a blood test, only some of which are in your control. Some tests require repeats by nature, while others should be clear the first time. But for one of these reasons, your doctor may order you back to the lab for a repeat of your bloodwork.
Reason #1: The test requires a repeat
Not all tests are conclusive after one set of results. Newly diagnosed cases of diabetes, for instance, should have blood glucose tests repeated over the next few months to monitor the condition and confirm that it has progressed to diabetes.
Other tests, such as hormone panels, may require multiple results to get an accurate reading since they can fluctuate day by day. Tests that measure the chemical contents of your blood may need to be repeated to give your doctor a better understanding of the range of your possible results so they don’t base your entire treatment on a bad day.
Reason #2: Your results are borderline
Results of a blood test are given in the context of the “normal” range. You may be on the high or low side of a normal range, or just over the line, and your doctor may want to retest to make sure they diagnose your condition correctly.
Reason #3: You received abnormal results
Blood Work can come back with a strange result. Even tests that are accurate 99% of the time will produce strange results every so often. So your doctor will want to confirm that a questionable result wasn’t an anomaly or an inaccurate reading, especially if the results indicate a serious condition. This includes checking for a false positive result with a retest.
Reason #4: You didn’t follow instructions
Many blood tests require specific preparation, such as fasting, refraining from strenuous exercise, or temporarily stopping other medications. If your doctor gives you these restrictions, it means that breaking them will produce an inaccurate result, prompting them to schedule a retest.
Reason #5: A practitioner’s mistake
While incredibly rare, accidents and natural emergencies can happen, either in the process of drawing the blood or later at the lab. If a sample broke, leaked, or was compromised, you will need to retest it.
Blood work is essential not only for helping doctors diagnose conditions but also for monitoring your general health profile and tracking the progress of your treatments. Accurate results are the top priority, which means that for the reasons listed above, your doctor may feel the need to reorder tests to ensure that the treatment they prescribe is accurate too.
Speedy Sticks is a mobile concierge phlebotomy service that provides at-home blood draws and on-site diagnostic/health screenings for businesses and individuals. These include blood tests, which can be performed by one of our specialists. Book an appointment today to complete your exam.
*This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace consulting with a healthcare professional. Please consult with your primary care physician or healthcare provider before engaging in any services offered by Speedy Sticks.
**These are approximations, and experts disagree on some values. Consult your healthcare provider for recommendations suitable for you. It is also important to ensure the levels are given in the same measurements, such as mg/dL, etc.