Although the main responsibility of the phlebotomist is to take blood from a patient, what happens afterwards is what truly matters. According to various medical journals, expert phlebotomy training and blood analysis are two important factors that help detect medical conditions, such as Alzheimers disease or Parkinson disease, premature births or heart problems, in time. Consequently, as the phlebotomists expertise aided in discovering a potential risk, the doctor can perform regular tests and stop the conditions from fully developing and posing a threat to the patients life.
The blood tests and exams that help detect the possibility of premature birth
The premature birth that poses a serious threat to the babys life is usually one that happens before the 37th week of gestation. As the organs of the baby are not fully developed and, therefore, cannot sustain the body, the newborn will require medical assistance to develop in the next months.
However, the good news is that the risks of premature birth can be detected as early as the second semester of pregnancy via the blood gas analysis and blood examinations. These tests can detect the levels of glucose, calcium, bilirubin and peptides in the blood. Usually the blood tests are taken by a specialist with expert phlebotomy training and the results are discussed with the gynecologist.
Essentially, the studies conducted by various reputable medical institutions showed that the clear indicator of a premature birth resides in the scarcity of three specific peptides that are derived from the inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor protein. The presence of the three peptides can be detected correctly in the 28th week of gestation and make accurate estimations on women prone to have a premature birth in about 86% of cases. The same tests can help identify over 80% of women that will not have a premature birth. Given the high mortality rate in premature newborns, being able to prolong the pregnancy by a week or two can have a huge impact and increase the chances of survival of the baby.
The importance of early detection of the risk of premature birth
In addition to low amounts of proteins in the mothers blood, it is worth mentioning there are also other illnesses that are responsible for pre-term births. These include diabetes, kidney or heart disease and infections located in the urinary tract or the amniotic membrane in the mother. Knowing this information and performing the blood tests early means that doctors can actually prepare for high-risk births or prolong the gestation even for a small period of time.
Once the risk has been acknowledged, the mother can be moved to a medical facility that can provide the best premature infant care, such as the neonatal intensive care unit. At the same time, the nurses and gynecologists will prepare all the necessary equipment to help the baby develop in a high-risk nursery, such as a warm climate to help maintain an average temperature of the newborns body, special feeding tubes, ventilators to help the baby breathe, etc. In numbers, 90% of the babies that were expected to be born prematurely survived, thanks to early detection of risk.