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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Why is my baby having blood tests?

There are many reasons. Here is a list of some of the common blood tests your baby may have and the reasons required.

FBC (full blood count)

A count of particles contained in blood, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets which are checked for anaemia, infection and clotting of the blood.

Blood glucose/blood sugar

Shows whether baby has had enough food/fluid to provide energy. 

U&E (Urea and Electrolytes) 

Salts contained in blood which need to be kept balanced depending on the amount of food/fluid baby receives and from the result can be altered with more or less food or fluid. Essential minerals found in blood. Cal&Mag. (Calcium and magnesium)

Blood gas

Indicates the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood (measures effectiveness of breathing).

CRP (C-reactive protein)

Indicator of inflammation in the body.

SBR (Serum bilirubin)

Measure of the amount of bilirubin in the blood which indicates jaundice. See Q11 jaundice.

Blood cultures

Blood is placed in a medium which can grow bugs (bacteria) if they are present and the microbiologist can tell us if baby needs treatment with antibiotics.

How is the blood taken?

Blood may be taken by the following ways:

  • Heel prick (capillary sample)
  • Venous sample from vein
  • Arterial line in the umbilicus ( UAC Umbilical Arterial Catheter)
  • Arterial line which may be in the hand or leg