Taking blood samples from patients is typically used in order to analyze aspects of the individual's health.
It can allow doctors to diagnose any potential blood-related and non-blood related disorders, as well as monitoring the progress of conditions and effectiveness of treatments.
Several factors can be measured during laboratory analysis of the samples, including complete blood count, hormone and electrolyte levels, types of leukocytes, and levels of blood plasma protein.
To establish the presence or absence of a range of medical conditions, the patient's blood properties can be analyzed, and comparisons made to a set of healthy or normal values known as 'reference ranges'.
An example is glucose testing for diabetes.
Each laboratory establishes or 'validates' its own reference ranges, thus reflects differences that vary from lab to lab. A few tests do not have ranges, but limits at which decisions are made about whether you are healthy or should be treated. Through many years of research involving large, diverse populations, these limits have become standardized. In the context of your personal information, you and your provider can use reference ranges as a guide to what your results mean and to help make decisions about managing your health.The specific reference ranges that appear on your laboratory report are determined and provided by the laboratory that performed your test.
Reference ranges help describe what is typical for a particular group of people based on age, sex, and other characteristics.