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Sedimentation Rate: About Your Child's Test

What is it?

The sedimentation rate (sed rate) test is a blood test. It measures how quickly red blood cells settle in a test tube. When there's inflammation in the body, the red blood cells stick together and fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the tube. This test may also be called an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

Why is this test done?

A sed rate test is done to:

  • Find out if inflammation is present.
  • Check on the progress of a disease.
  • See how well a treatment is working.

How do you prepare for the test?

In general, you won't need to prepare before your child has this test. Your doctor may give you some specific instructions.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

How long does the test take?

The test will take a few minutes.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.

Where can you learn more?

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