This section provides information about lab tests your doctor
may use to screen for certain diseases or conditions.
What are lab tests? Laboratory tests are medical procedures that involve testing
samples of blood, urine, or other tissues or substances in the body.
Why does your doctor use lab tests? Your doctor uses laboratory tests to help:
identify changes in your health condition before any symptoms occur
diagnose a disease or condition before you have symptoms
plan your treatment for a disease or condition,
evaluate your response to a treatment, or
monitor the course of a disease over time.
How are lab tests analyzed? After your doctor collects a sample from your body,
it is sent to a laboratory. Laboratories perform tests on the sample to see if
it reacts to different substances. Depending on the test, a reaction may mean
you do have a particular condition or it may mean that you do not have the
particular condition. Sometimes laboratories compare your results to results
obtained from previous tests, to see if there has been a change in your
What do lab tests show? Lab tests show whether or not your results fall within
normal ranges. Normal test values are usually given as a range, rather than as a
specific number, because normal values vary from person to person. What is
normal for one person may not be normal for another person.
Some laboratory tests are precise, reliable indicators of specific health
problems, while others provide more general information that gives doctors clues
to your possible health problems. Information obtained from laboratory tests may
help doctors decide whether other tests or procedures are needed to make a
diagnosis or to develop or revise a previous treatment plan. All laboratory test
results must be interpreted within the context of your overall health and should
be used along with other exams or tests.
What factors affect your lab test results? Many factors can affect test results,
drugs you are taking
how closely your follow preparatory instructions
variations in laboratory techniques
variation from one laboratory to another
An injection is a method of putting liquid into the body with a hollow needle
and a syringe which is pierced through the skin to a sufficient depth for the
material to be forced into the body. An injection follows a parenteral route of
injection, that is, its effect is not necessarily local to the area in which the
injection is administered; it is systemic.
There are several types of injections or infusions, including, subcutaneous,
intramuscular, and intravenous infusions. You will find useful information on
hypodermic injections including some techniques used and suppliers. Please look
at our advertisers who will provide more information.Immunization, or
immunisation, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes
fortified against an agent (known as the immunogen).
When this system is exposed to molecules that are foreign to the body, called
non-self, it will orchestrate an immune response, and it will also develop the
ability to quickly respond to a subsequent encounter because of immunological
memory. This is a function of the adaptive immune system. Therefore, by exposing
an animal to an immunogen in a controlled way, its body can learn to protect
itself: this is called active immunization.
The most important elements of the immune system that are improved by
immunization are the T cells, B cells, and the antibodies B cells produce.
Memory B cell and memory T cells are responsible for a swift response to a
second encounter with a foreign molecule. Passive immunization is when these
elements are introduced directly into the body, instead of when the body itself
has to make these elements.
Immunization is done through various techniques, most commonly vaccination.
Vaccines against microorganisms that cause diseases can prepare the body's
immune system, thus helping to fight or prevent an infection. The fact that
mutations can cause cancer cells to produce proteins or other molecules that are
unknown to the body forms the theoretical basis for therapeutic cancer vaccines.
Other molecules can be used for immunization as well, for example in
experimental vaccines against nicotine (NicVAX) or the hormone ghrelin in
experiments to create an obesity vaccine.
Before vaccines, the only way people became immune to a certain disease was by
actually getting the disease and surviving it. Immunizations are definitely less
risky and an easier way to become immune to a particular disease. They are
important for both adults and children in that they can protect us from the many
diseases out there. Through the use of immunizations, some infections and
diseases have almost completely been eradicated throughout the United States and
the World. One for example is polio. Thanks to dedicated health care
professionals and the parents of children who vaccinated on schedule, polio has
been eliminated in the U.S. since 1979. Polio is still found in other parts of
the world though so certain people could still be at risk of getting it. This
includes those people who have never had the vaccine, those who didn't receive
all doses of the vaccine, or those traveling to areas of the world where polio
is still prevalent.
Active immunization/vaccination has been named one of the "Ten Great Public
Health Achievements in the 20th Century".
Intramuscular (or IM) injection is the injection of a substance
directly into a muscle. In medicine, it is one of several alternative methods
for the administration of medications (see route of administration). It is used
for particular forms of medication that are administered in small amounts.
Depending on the chemical properties of the drug, the medication may either be
absorbed fairly quickly or more gradually. Intramuscular injections are often
given in the deltoid muscle of the arm, the vastus lateralis muscle of the leg,
and the ventrogluteal and dorsogluteal muscles of the buttocks.