This test measures many of the chemicals in the blood, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, glucose, calcium, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine.
Other names for this test are chem-8 or chem panel. A similar test called a comprehensive metabolic panel includes liver panel, albumin, and total protein tests as well as the basic metabolic panel.
This test is sometimes done along with a routine health check-up. It may also help diagnose and treat a medical problem your child is having. It does not diagnose a specific problem but it can help your child’s healthcare provider know what other tests your child might need. It also is a way to see how well treatment for a disease is working.
Having this test will take just a few minutes. For young babies, the heel is pricked and a small amount of the blood is taken. For older children, a small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your child’s arm with a needle. The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.
Ask your child’s healthcare provider when and how your child will get the results of the test.
Your child’s body needs just the right balance of chemicals to work well. Medicines, diseases, injuries, and other conditions can affect the chemicals in your child’s blood, such as:
Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history, physical exam, and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about the results and ask questions, such as: