Follow That Sample: A Short Lab Tour

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Blood Sample
Throat Culture

For you as the patient, the "laboratory test" that has been requested by your doctor may require you to have a sample of blood taken from a vein in your arm, or to give a sample of urine, a swab from your throat or another sample of body fluid or even tissue (a biopsy). Once you have provided the sample, your part of the "lab test" is finished – but the real test happens in the laboratory where trained doctors and scientists analyse the sample on specialised instruments and/or examine the specimens under the microscope. Let's look at a couple of examples: a blood sample and a throat culture.