Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of laboratory analysis? Whether to confirm a medical diagnosis, test the quality of a product or assess the state of the environment, these tests are fundamental in our lives. Today, we’re going to dive deep into this universe of test tubes and microscopes, and you’ll find out what you really need to know about laboratory analysis.

What are laboratory analyses?

Simply speaking, laboratory analyzes are studies performed in controlled environments to obtain specific information. They can range from blood tests, soil analysis, food quality tests to forensic studies. These scientific processes help us understand and solve complex problems.

Types of laboratory analysis

Clinical analysis

They are the best known and refer to those performed for medical purposes, such as blood counts, glucose tests and biopsies. They help identify diseases and guide treatments.

Environmental analyzes

These analyzes monitor the quality of the air, water and soil. They are essential to ensure the sustainability and safety of our environment.

Product quality analyzes

These tests ensure that products, such as food and medicine, are safe for consumption and use. Ensure compliance with standards and regulations.

How are laboratory analyzes performed?

Sample collection

The first step in most laboratory analyzes is sample collection. Depending on the type of analysis, samples can be blood, urine, tissue, air, water, soil or any other material needed.

For example, for a blood test, a trained healthcare professional (usually a nurse or lab technician) will use a needle to draw blood from a vein. For soil analysis, an expert will use specific tools to collect samples at different depths and locations.

Sample processing

After collection, samples are usually processed to prepare them for analysis. This process may involve several steps, such as centrifugation, filtration, dilution, addition of reagents, among others, depending on the type of analysis to be performed. For example, for a complete blood count, the blood sample can be centrifuged to separate the blood cells from the plasma.

Sample analysis

The analysis itself involves the application of various techniques to obtain the desired information from the sample. This may involve the use of specialized equipment such as microscopes, spectrophotometers, chromatographs and others. The analysis can be done manually by laboratory technicians or it can be automated.

For example, in a blood test to check glucose levels, the sample can be analyzed using equipment that uses the redox reaction to measure the glucose concentration.

Interpretation of results

Finally, the analysis results are interpreted. This usually involves comparing the results obtained with normal reference values ​​to understand if they indicate a specific problem or condition. For example, in a blood test, if the glucose levels are above normal, it could indicate diabetes.

At this stage, it is common for the results to be reported by specialized professionals, such as doctors, biologists, chemists or others, who can make an accurate assessment and provide appropriate recommendations based on the results.

Common questions

What is a qualitative analysis?

Qualitative analysis is the one that identifies the components of a sample, without quantifying them. For example, identifying the types of bacteria present in a culture.

And a quantitative analysis?

Quantitative analysis, as the name suggests, quantifies the components of a sample. For example, measuring the amount of glucose in the blood.

Are lab analyzes always 100% accurate?

No, every test has a margin of error. However, quality labs employ techniques to minimize errors and provide the most accurate results possible.

How long does it take to get results?

It depends on the type of analysis. Some tests can give you results in minutes, while others can take days.

What does it mean when an analysis result is “inconclusive”?

It means that the results were not definitive and that more tests may be needed.

Who can order laboratory analysis?

In general, health professionals can request clinical analyzes, while other types of analyzes can be requested by professionals from other areas, such as engineers, agronomists or companies from different sectors.

How can I be sure a laboratory is reliable?

Check if the laboratory is certified by national or international accreditation bodies. These bodies ensure that the laboratory follows strict quality standards.

Now that you have a better understanding of laboratory analysis, we hope you have more trust when ordering or interpreting these tests. Remember: science is our ally, and understanding is the key to making effective use of it.

If you liked this article and want to go deeper into topics like this one, we invite you to read other texts on our blog. We’re sure you’ll find lots of other valuable information!


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