When you are an inpatient, each morning and sometimes more times during the day, routine blood samples will be taken from you through your Hickman® line. It does not hurt to have blood taken from a Hickman® line. If you do not have a Hickman® line, blood will be taken from a vein in the hand or arm.
Patient progress is watched carefully. Treatment is changed as needed, according to the results of the blood tests.
In addition to the routine blood work, blood cultures are often performed on BMT patients. This test is performed regularly as BMT patients are at risk of infection. Tests may be performed on the Inpatient Unit (T15) and in the Leukemia/BMT Day Care Outpatient Unit. Blood cultures are also routinely done if the patient's temperature is higher than 38°C, with 37°C being normal temperature.
This blood sample can be taken from a Hickman® line, or a vein in the arm or hand. The sample is sent to a lab, where it is kept under special conditions to see if any bacteria or other organisms grow. It can take 7-10 days to get the final results of this test. In the meantime, the physician will likely order antibiotics to start right away. No special preparation is needed for this blood test.