A ferritin blood test checks the amount of ferritin in
the blood. Ferritin is a
protein in the body that binds to iron; most of the
iron stored in the body is bound to ferritin. Ferritin is found in the
spleen , skeletal muscles, and bone marrow. Only a
small amount of ferritin is found in the blood. The amount of ferritin in the
blood shows how much iron is stored in your body.
Why It Is Done
ferritin blood test is done to:
- Find the cause of
anemia, especially iron deficiency
- See if inflammation is present.
- See if too
much iron (hemochromatosis) is present.
- Check to see
if iron treatment to raise or lower the iron level is working.
How To Prepare
You do not need to do anything before
having this test.
How It Is Done
The health professional drawing blood
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to
stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is
easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick
may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as
the needle is removed.
- Put pressure to the site and then a
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in
your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight.
You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or
There is very little chance of a problem from
having a blood sample taken from a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You
can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the
blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be
used several times a day to treat this.
- Ongoing bleeding can be a
problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (such as Coumadin), and
other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have
bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell
your doctor before your blood sample is taken.