Hemoglobin Test

with real time examples

What is a Hemoglobin Test?

A hemoglobin test is a blood test that measures the amount of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, present in the blood. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. This test is used to detect anemia, as well as other disorders of bone marrow or red blood cell production. It is also used to diagnose thalassemia, a genetic disorder caused by mutations in the genes that control hemoglobin production.

Why get a Hemoglobin Test?

The hemoglobin test is typically done as part of a routine physical exam and may be done if a person has signs or symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, or pale skin. It is also done to monitor people with an existing blood disorder, such as thalassemia or anemia, or to check for anemia caused by chronic disease.

Preparation for the Test

No special preparations are required for a hemoglobin test. This test is typically done as part of a routine physical exam and blood will be drawn from a vein in the arm, as with other routine blood tests.

Procedure of the Test

A health care professional will draw a blood sample by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm, usually in the bend of the elbow. The needle is attached to a vial or syringe and your blood will be collected.You may experience some mild discomfort during the blood draw process. The blood sample will then be sent to a laboratory where it will be tested. It usually takes one to two days to get your test results.

Types of Hemoglobin Tests

There are a few different types of hemoglobin tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) test, hemoglobin A1C test, and a sickle cell test. A CBC test is a routine blood test that measures the number of red blood cells, as well as the amount of hemoglobin, and other components, in the blood. A hemoglobin A1C test measures the average amount of hemoglobin in the blood over several months and is typically used to diagnose and monitor diabetes. A sickle cell test measures the amount of abnormal hemoglobin in the blood and is used to diagnose sickle cell anemia.

Risks of the Test

The risks associated with a hemoglobin test are minimal. As with any procedure involving a needle, there is a risk of infection and a slight risk of bruising or bleeding at the puncture site. If you notice any of these symptoms after getting a hemoglobin test, contact your health care provider.

When Should I Get Tested?

Your doctor may recommend a hemoglobin test if you have signs or symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, or pale skin. It may also be recommended if you are at risk of certain blood disorders, such as thalassemia or sickle cell anemia. It may also be done routinely during a physical exam or to check for anemia caused by chronic diseases such as cancer or kidney disease.