Common Lab Tests Used for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy


Common Lab Tests Used for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Those who have been involved in serious accidents have likely endured a litany of lab tests; however, due to the emergent situation, they may not have had these various tests explained to them. For patients with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), each test plays an important role in the proper diagnosis and treatment of each patient.

A Basic Metabolic Panel for Fluid Status

First, anyone involved in an auto accident runs the risk of losing a significant amount of blood. As a result, patients will start to become dehydrated. Therefore, the patient loses not only water but also a variety of ions, including sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. These ions are used to keep a patient’s heart beating, muscles working, and protein channel working efficiently. A basic metabolic panel measures the levels of these ions and helps to grade the dehydration status of the patient. Lastly, using this information, the physicians can figure out how much fluid replacement the patient will need to restore their ions to a healthy level. Since dehydration can have an effect on pain management, most patients who are suspected of having RSD will have this test performed.

A Complete Metabolic Panel Measures Organ Function

A complete metabolic panel will measure the function of many different organs in the body. If a truck accident leads to traumatic injuries, the function of the organs may be thrown off, such as with splenic damage. Consequently, if these organs have been damaged, they start to release a variety of enzymes that can be measured in the bloodstream. These enzymes include:

  • Amylase and Lipase: These enzymes are elevated if the pancreas has been damaged.
  • AST and ALT: These enzymes are elevated if the liver has been damaged.
  • Bilirubin: Including direct and indirect, these levels give clues regarding the function of the gallbladder and the liver.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase: This is a measure of gallbladder function

Finally, while patients with RSD chiefly have symptoms in their extremities, physicians will want to make sure that other organs are functioning properly.

A Complete Blood Count Measures Blood Function

In addition, pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic personal injury leading to substantial blood loss. A complete blood count may be used to quantify a patient’s hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to the various organs in the patient’s body and a lack of hemoglobin can starve the body of oxygen. This generates pain similar to that seen in RSD. Following, a complete blood count will also measure a patient’s platelets, white blood cells, and various inflammatory markers. Elevations in white blood cell counts could indicate the presence of an infection or other comorbidities. On the other hand, inflammatory markers are elevated if the patient is in pain. They might be particularly elevated with the severe pain seen in RSD.

Sacramento Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. There are many different laboratory tests and each one plays a vital role in the proper diagnosis and treatment of patients with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident, please call my office at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. Visitors who are calling from outside of the local Sacramento area may want to use my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.

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