Using laboratory values can be a key piece of assessment to determine what is occurring within the body. There are numerous laboratory tests that can be completed and can be quite complicated to interpret. The two most common laboratory tests ordered are:
- Chemistry panels (looking at electrolytes)
- Complete blood count (looking at blood counts).
So, what do these lab results tell you?
The human body is constantly trying to keep a balance of homeostasis with fluid and electrolytes. Electrolytes are chemical compounds that break down into ions, carrying a positive or negative charge. When these are not in balance, pathological changes occur in the human body and can make an individual very ill.
Complete Blood Counts
The complete blood count looks at red blood cell distribution and count, infection fighting white blood cell distribution and count, along with a with some values related to blood clotting factors. Ranges for normal laboratory values will vary among genders and age groups. It is also important to note that different laboratories will also have a slight variation in there and normal values.