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Capital & Coast DHB Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Public Service

Blood Tests

In the ICU blood tests are usually done at least once a day. They measure such things as how the kidneys are working, cardiac markers (to make sure the heart is healthy) and levels of potassium (K+) and calcium (Ca++) as well as other elements. These are some of the indicators of how the body is working and can show the intensive care specialist how well a patient’s body is coping with their illness. Intra-arterial and intravenous lines (tubes placed in arteries and veins) are often used to monitor the body and, once established, allow rapid, reliable and pain-free access for repeated blood tests.  Some conditions will require multiple repeated blood testing every few hours.

This page was last updated at 11:35AM on August 12, 2019.