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Understanding Lab Tests: Resources from NLM

Posted by on November 16th, 2017 Posted in: Health Information Literacy, Multilingual, National Library of Medicine News, Websites


Laboratory tests (often known as lab tests) check a sample of blood, urine, or body tissues, and then a technician or doctor analyzes the test samples to see if the results fall within a normal range. It may be difficult for patients to understand the purpose and results of lab tests, so the National Library of Medicine offers multiple resources (including resources in multiple languages) to help explain a wide variety of lab tests:

  • Lab Test Information on MedlinePlus: Check the Lab Test Information section on MedlinePlus to learn about laboratory tests, including what the lab test is used for, why a doctor ordered it, how the test will feel, and what the results may mean. Select from a list of dozens of lab tests to learn more about each one. Find additional links to information about lab tests under the Laboratory Tests Health Topics page on MedlinePlus.
  • Lab Test Information in Multiple Languages: Find links to handouts describing a variety of lab tests in 13 languages on MedlinePlus, or find patient materials about lab tests (including document, video, and audio) in multiple languages on HealthReach.

Lab Test Information: Learn why your doctor orders laboratory test and what the results may mean.

From NLM Outreach and Special Populations Branch November 14, 2017 post

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.​

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