Other names: Acetaminophen

The test is used to measure the concentration of paracetamol in the blood; the test is usually ordered if a doctor suspects that a patient has taken an overdose of paracetamol (this may be accidental or on purpose).

Why is the test used?

The test is used when a patient has taken too much paracetamol; the test is only ordered when a doctor suspects that the patient has had an overdose. The test may be ordered to determine if the liver has been damaged due to paracetamol overdose and to help doctors decide a suitable treatment pathway.

The test is usually conducted 4 hours after the overdose occurred or as quickly as possible if the patient has taken several overdoses over the course of the previous 2 or 3 days.

How is the test done?

The test is carried out by taking a sample of blood from the patient’s arm; usually, a vein on the inside of the elbow is used. A needle is inserted into the vein and the blood is collected in a syringe; once the doctor has a sufficient sample, the blood will be bottled, labelled with the patient’s name and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

What do the test results mean?

If the concentration of paracetamol is high, this may contribute to liver damage; the higher the concentration, the greater the risk of liver damage. A paracetamol overdose can be very serious and potentially fatal; it is therefore important that the patient is given antidotal treatment as quickly as possible. Usually, symptoms do not appear for around 26 hours after the overdose.

Specific Blood Tests

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved