Frequently Asked Questions

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UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital

MedLabs FAQs

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions.

PATIENT TEST PREPARATION

Q:  What does it mean to fast for my blood test?

A:  Fasting means NO eating foods or drinking liquids; this includes no coffee, no tea or no sodas. The period of fasting varies from 10 – 12 hours and should be no more than 16 hours.  Eating foods or drinking liquids may interfere with your lab results.  You are encouraged to drink water during your fast.

Q:  Why is drinking water encouraged?
A:  It is recommended that when you are having blood drawn, you drink plenty of water to keep properly hydrated.  Proper hydration helps in locating veins and preventing dizziness brought on by fasting.

Q:  What lab tests require fasting and how long do I need to fast?
A:  Follow instructions from your provider if you are required to fast before lab testing.  These are common tests that require fasting:
Glucose:  a minimum fast of 10 hours, but no more than 16 hours.
Homocysteine:  a minimum fast of 12 hours, but no more than 16 hours.
Lipid panel:   a minimum fast of 12 hours but no more than 16 hours.
Lactose:   a minimum fast of 10 hours but no more than 16 hours.

Q:  Can I take my scheduled medications during my fast?
A:  You may take medications as prescribed by your doctor when fasting for a lab test.  Take them ONLY with water.

Q:  Do I need to fast for urine or stool tests?
A:  Fasting is not required for urine or stool tests.  Check with your health provider for specific food or drink avoidance associated with stool or urine testing ordered.

SPECIMEN COLLECTION

Q. How do I collect stool specimen? 
A. Please check with your health care provider or laboratory for specific information and instructions on collecting stool samples. 

Q. How do I collect urine specimen? 
A. Please check with your health care provider or laboratory for specific information and instructions on collecting urine samples. 

Q. How do I collect a 24-hour urine specimen? 
A. The 24-hour collection period STARTS with an empty bladder, and ENDS with emptying the bladder for the final collection 24 hours later.  Please check with your health care provider or laboratory for specific information and instructions on collecting 24-hour urine samples. 

Q. What should I do if I get a bruise after having my blood drawn? 
A. When a person has blood taken, there is the potential that blood could either leak from the vein or that blood will become trapped under the skin from the procedure itself. Often there are just small bruises from the procedure, although heavy bruising can occur. The application of a cool pack or ice can help to reduce the potential of the bruise. Alternating ice and heat on the bruise site may promote healing.  


LAB ORDERS & RESULTS

Q. Are my lab test orders sent to MedLabs or do I need to bring them with me?
A. Orders for lab tests may be sent electronically to Medlabs. If your health providers gives you a paper copy of the lab order you will need to bring it with you to any one of our convenient locations. To confirm that your order for lab testing has been received electronically, please call: (319) 368-5650.

Q. Are my test results sent to my doctor?
A. Yes. MedLabs sends your lab test results directly to the ordering provider.  

Q. How can I see my lab test results?
A. You may view your results online as well as manage your health your way. To learn more and get started click on chart.myunitypoint.org and click on "Sign Up Now". For assistance call toll free: (877) 224-4430. 

Q. How long will it take to get my lab test results?
A. Depending on the test, results take approximately 2-5 days and will be sent to the ordering provider. You may see your lab test results on chart.myunitypoint.org or by calling your health provider. 

Q. What does my lab test cost?
A. Please call MedLabs Customer Service at (319) 368-5650 for test cost inquiries.