blood test

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blood test,

examination of bloodblood,
fluid pumped by the heart that circulates throughout the body via the arteries, veins, and capillaries (see circulatory system; heart). An adult male of average size normally has about 6 quarts (5.6 liters) of blood.
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 routinely or as an aid in diagnosing a suspected disease. Tests may be performed on whole blood or on the plasma portion only. Blood typing identifies the proteins at specific sites on red blood cells, a necessity in determining compatibility for blood transfusionblood transfusion,
transfer of blood from one person to another, or from one animal to another of the same species. Transfusions are performed to replace a substantial loss of blood and as supportive treatment in certain diseases and blood disorders.
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. Human Lymphocyte Antigens (HLA) is a form of white blood cell typing prerequisite for organ and bone marrow transplants. The Coulter Cell Counter is widely used in electronic counts of red blood cells for the diagnosis of anemiaanemia
, condition in which the concentration of hemoglobin in the circulating blood is below normal. Such a condition is caused by a deficient number of erythrocytes (red blood cells), an abnormally low level of hemoglobin in the individual cells, or both these conditions
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 and polycythemiapolycythemia
, condition characterized by an increase in the production of red blood cells, or erythrocytes, in the blood. Primary polycythemia, also called erythremia, or polycythemia vera, is a chronic, progressive disease, most common in middle-aged men.
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. White cell counts are vital in detecting infections or in confirming leukemialeukemia
, cancerous disorder of the blood-forming tissues (bone marrow, lymphatics, liver, spleen) characterized by excessive production of immature or mature leukocytes (white blood cells; see blood) and consequently a crowding-out of red blood cells and platelets.
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. Serum or plasma may be collected, cultured, and inoculated with bacteria or other substances for the purpose of detecting the body's reaction to infections, cancer, or HIV, the virus that causes AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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. Plasma may also be examined for evidence of functional disorders, e.g., for blood sugar in testing for diabetes mellitus. Blood tests for tumor markers, such as prostate-specific antigen, are effective in detecting cancer in high risk groups. Almost all blood tests are now performed by electronic equipment, and results are evaluated and printed out by computer.

blood test

[′bləd ‚test]
(pathology)
A serologic test for syphilis.
A blood count.
A test for detection of blood, usually one based on the peroxidase activity of blood, such as the benzidine test or guaiac test.
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The importance of blood analysis for DUI trial lawyers cannot be overstated.
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