Do you need a blood test? Here’s what you need to know….

Thousands of them are made every day. Just the mention of it gives some people goose bumps. Others turn a blind eye to the needle, others experience it very well, to the point of giving their blood regularly to save lives: the blood test, we are all confronted with it one day or the other. It allows doctors to make a diagnosis very quickly.

A little reminder shot to start: a blood test is only necessary if you are sick or in case of specific symptoms: there is no need to do one every six months! However, a blood test can be useful around the age of 50, as part of a check-up (measurement of cholesterol and other fats, blood sugar levels for diabetes, etc.).

This examination costs nothing to people in mutual order, since the third party payer system is involved. However, a traditional blood test costs the community +/- 20 €…. That’s not nothing! If we exceed the number of tests of a conventional blood test, the payment of a co-payment (financial part of our pocket) is required. Similarly, some tests do not have a reimbursement code and are the responsibility of the patient. This is the case, for example, for the search for tumour markers, which are only reimbursed as part of monitoring. Labs sometimes see requests for all-out testing, such as the search for ALL cancer markers, because anxious patients ask their doctors….

Be careful, the measurement of PSA levels – a marker of prostate cancer, an analysis previously requested at arm’s length – is only reimbursed in the follow-up of patients suffering from the disease.

Knowing what you’re looking for

Similarly, in women, it is not useful to request magnesium or iron determinations in the absence of complaints. Nor is any fatigue necessarily related to infectious mononucleosis. The main virus responsible for mononuclear syndrome is the Epstein-Barr virus, “but 90% of the adult population have acquired antibodies against this virus without having developed any apparent disease,” says Dr. Thieu Quy Tran, director of the Clinical Biology Laboratory at the André Renard Clinic in Liège, Solidaris network. Patients loyal to their treating physician have a complete follow-up of their medical file, and many tests are not requested unnecessarily.

The search for the AIDS virus (HIV) is never futile in case of risky sexual intercourse. This exam is always refunded.

If you think you will need a blood test, make an appointment on DoctorAnyTime, a platform that groups doctors by specialty and region.

At the André Renard Clinic, fifteen people ensure the rotation of the Clinical Biology Laboratory, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. About 200 blood tests arrive there every day, starting at dawn. At night, a guard technician performs the tests from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., mainly for emergencies. This laboratory is open to everyone, not just hospitalized patients: you can go with your doctor’s prescription to take a blood test. Generally, 25 ml of blood, divided into four tubes, is collected: one drop compared to the 5 litres of blood circulating in our body!