WARREN, Pa. – A longstanding tradition in Warren is the Kiwanis Club of Warren’s Annual Blood Screening event. This inexpensive screening is the easiest way to prevent further development of a negative health condition or life-threatening disease. For the low price of $35, a licensed phlebotomist will draw two small vials of blood. With the help of Warren General Hospital, your blood will be sent for testing at Associated Clinical Laboratories (ACL). Over 30 tests will be performed by ACL to assess your overall health. Please sign up online at our website, www.kiwanisofwarrenpa.org, before May 18.
All of the tests are explained in detail below, so if you quit reading here, just know your blood can tell your doctors a lot about your overall health! Many of the tests included below are the same tests doctors would initially order to diagnose a wide variety of problems. Knowing those numbers sooner rather than later can help you treat any underlying conditions that may not have any symptoms.
Included in the base screening for $35 is a Complete Blood Count (CBC). This is a blood test that can detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection in your blood, and leukemia. A CBC measures your red blood cell counts (oxygen-carrying blood cells), white blood cell counts (fight infection), hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying protein), hematocrit (red blood cells to fluid component, or plasma), and platelets (for blood clotting). Abnormal increases or decreases in cell counts as revealed in a complete blood count may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition that calls for further evaluation.
The base screening also tests your electrolyte levels. Electrolytes consist of some of the body’s principal minerals: sodium, potassium, and chloride. Electrolytes play an important role in water balance in your body. Abnormal results may indicate dehydration, excessive salt intake, medication side effects, kidney or liver disease, or excessive sweating to name a few possible causes.
Also included in the base screening is a diabetes screening, heart function testing, and kidney function testing. Cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol are tests to determine risk of coronary heart disease. These tests have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels. Elevated cholesterol, triglycerides and/or LDL cholesterol should be discussed with your doctor. HDL cholesterol is referred to as “good cholesterol” and higher values have been shown to lower the risk of developing heart disease. Kidney function is measured with the blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR), uric acid, calcium, and phosphorous. Abnormal results may be related to but are not limited to impaired kidney function, dehydration, high protein and/or strenuous exercise. Abnormal results should be evaluated by your health care provider.
There are also additional tests you may elect to have depending on your preference and risk for each.
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer. Some organizations recommend PSA screening in men between the ages of 40 and 70, and in men with an increased risk of prostate cancer. This test comes at additional cost of $25.
Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid gland, part of the endocrine system, malfunctions either because it produces too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) thyroid hormone. If left untreated, health problems can occur ranging from issues with metabolism, cardiac and nervous system function, sleep disturbances, changes in mood, increased irritability, constipation, fatigue, and muscle weakness. A Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test is $20.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from your diet. A Vitamin D test is available for $25.
The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and research. A1C testing is available for $10.
Your body produces C-reactive protein (CRP) when something is starting to become inflamed. If a doctor finds CRP in your blood, he / she will know there’s inflammation happening somewhere in your body. If your arteries are inflamed, you have a greater risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or peripheral arterial disease. A CRP test is available for $25.
Any questions can be directed to Kiwanis Club of Warren at [email protected] or (814) 406-9072.
Proceeds from this event benefit Kiwanis programming and local nonprofits with the mission of improving the lives of children in the Warren area.