Blood Test Results
What do the results of a test mean? The descriptions below give an explanation and details behind the phrases used.
Normal. Take no action – This means that the doctor has looked at the result and deemed it to be within the normal range for the test and so no further investigation or treatment is needed.
Satisfactory. Take no action – This means that the doctor has looked at the results and deemed it to be very close to the normal range for the test and the result is not concerning. Some patients have consistently abnormal results that are ‘normal’ to them.
Borderline. Take no action – This means that the doctor has looked at the result and deemed it to be just outside of the normal range and the result is not concerning.
Abnormal but expected. Take no action – This means that the doctor has looked at the result and no further investigation or treatment is needed. This may be for the following reasons:
Specimen lost/unusable, repeat test – Unfortunately very occasionally samples are lost. Sometimes there is a delay in samples reaching the laboratory which can affect the quality of the specimen making it unusable. Occasionally an incorrect test is requested in which case a repeat may not be needed. On the other occasions an incorrect bottle or label may have been used.
Positive – often used with tests for infections – this means that the condition being tested for has been detected.
Negative. Take no action – Also often used with tests for infections. Self-explanatory. No further treatment or investigation(s) is needed.
Other messages you might see when checking test results:
If symptoms persist speak to the doctor – this usually means the result is abnormal but expected and you are already on the correct treatment, however if your symptoms are not improving you should discuss with your doctor.
Patient to make a telephone appointment to discuss – The doctor would like to speak to you to explain the result(s) by telephone.
Repeat test – small fluctuations in test results are common and slightly abnormal results usually return to normal without the need for treatment. The GP would like to check your result has returned to normal or remained stable. There should be an indication of how long you should wait before rechecking your blood test.
Patient to pick up script – your test result(s) indicate that you need some medication and there is a prescription ready for you to collect. There should be an additional comment explaining what the treatment is for, however if you are unsure please book a telephone consultation with the doctor or nurse.
Due annual diabetic review – the surgery will contact you to arrange a time for you to come in and discuss your blood results during your annual diabetic review.