Ferritin is a protein found in the blood that stores iron. This
test measures the amount of ferritin in the blood serum. Iron
is a key factor in red blood cell production.
Who is a candidate for the test?
The ferritin test is done to find how much iron is
stored in a person's body. The test is ordered if the doctor
suspects that the person has either too much or too little iron in the body.
How is the test performed?
To measure the amount of ferritin in the serum,
a blood sample is taken from a vein on the forearm or hand. First, the
skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber
tube called a tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm. This restricts
the blood flow through the veins in the lower arm causing them to enlarge.
A small needle is inserted into a vein. The tourniquet is removed.
Blood flows from the vein through the needle into a syringe
or vial. The sample is sent to the lab for testing. After the needle is withdrawn, the
puncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding.