Children

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Blood tests

Blood tests are frequently used to evaluate various GI disorders and involve taking a sample of blood from your child’s vein. Depending on your child’s condition, the doctor might use blood tests to check:

  • Albumin level: Albumin is a protein made by the liver. Below-normal levels are associated with many chronic liver disorders.
  • Bilirubin level: Bilirubin is produced by the liver and is excreted in the bile. Elevated levels of bilirubin may indicate an obstruction of bile flow or a defect in the processing of bile by the liver.
  • Complete blood count: This test examines the different types of cells in the bloodstream. White blood cells multiply when infection is present. Red blood cells will be present in smaller amounts than normal if your child has lost blood, has an inadequate diet has been inadequate or has certain diseases.
  • Electrolyte level: Electrolytes are minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium and glucose. These minerals are important for the body to function properly. Children who have lost large amounts of fluid due to vomiting or diarrhea often lose large amounts of the various electrolytes as well. Your child's physician uses electrolyte tests to help determine when your child might need extra fluids given intravenously or other medications to help with dehydration and mineral loss.
  • Prothrombin time test: This test measures the time it takes for blood to clot. Blood clotting requires vitamin K and a protein made by the liver. Liver cell damage and bile flow obstruction can both interfere with proper blood clotting.

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