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BLOOD VOLUME TESTS What is a blood volume test What is involved

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					                                   BLOOD VOLUME TESTS


                    Your doctor would like you to have a blood volume test.
                  This leaflet will answer some of the questions you may have.



What is a blood volume test?
Blood volume tests are used to determine the total amount of blood in your body.

There are two types of blood volume test:
      (1) a plasma volume test (used to work out the total amount of plasma)
 and (2) a red cell volume test (used to work out the total amount of red blood cells).

This leaflet applies to both these tests.



What is involved?
Firstly we take a blood sample from your arm. This blood sample is then taken to our
pharmacy where it will be mixed with a slightly radioactive dye. The blood is then injected
back into you. Then we have to wait for a while. Finally, we take two more blood samples.

The test will last about 3 hours in total. Much of this involves waiting around so please bring
a newspaper to read!



Do I need to prepare for the test?
No special preparation is required. Food and drink will not interfere with this test.



If I am taking tablets or other drugs, do I need to stop taking them?
Please continue to take any medication your doctor has prescribed.



Will it hurt?
We need to take some blood samples and give you a small injection. The ‘pinprick’ of the
needles may hurt a bit. You will have had blood tests in the past. This is much the same.




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Patient information leaflets / Blood volume test                     Issue: 6                 Page: 1 of 2
                             Nuclear Medicine Department,   Southend Hospital
                          .... BLOOD VOLUME TESTS continued.




Is the radiation dangerous?
No. The amount of radiation you receive is small. It is similar to that from an x-ray
examination.



Do I need to do anything after the test?
No. Special precautions are not normally needed after the test.

However because small traces of the radioactive dye can remain within your body, possibly
for up to three months, if you are travelling abroad in the three months after your test, please
ask us for further advice. Ports and airports have very sensitive radiation detectors which
may pick up tiny amounts of radioactivity remaining after your scan. We will give you a letter
that you can show to customs officials at ports or airports.


What happens to the results of the test?
Your blood samples will be analysed and the results calculated. A report is then sent to the
doctor who asked us to do the test. It normally takes about a week.



Is there anything I should tell the staff before the test?
Yes, if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, please ‘phone us to let us know.
Also, please telephone us if you are breast-feeding.



Any more questions?
The staff of the department want your visit to be as pleasant as possible. If you have any
questions, please ask the staff in the nuclear medicine department. You can telephone, or
ask before the test starts.



                                  Our telephone number is
                                  Southend (01702) 385142




Patient information leaflets / Blood volume test                     Issue: 6       Page: 2 of 2
                             Nuclear Medicine Department,   Southend Hospital

				
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