A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a blood test that gives information about:
A BMP is commonly ordered as part of routine medical exam or physical. It's also often ordered for emergency room patients because it can provide information on medical problems causing chemical imbalances in the body that may need immediate attention.
The BMP evaluates:
The BMP may be performed without any preparation in an emergency, or it may be done after fasting. Your child may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before this blood test.
On the day of the test, having your child wear a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt can make things faster and easier for the technician who will be drawing the blood.
A health professional will usually draw the blood from a vein. For an infant, the blood may be obtained by puncturing the heel with a small needle (lancet). If the blood is being drawn from a vein, the skin surface is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band (tourniquet) is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and cause the vein to swell with blood. A needle is inserted into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand) and blood is withdrawn and collected in a vial or syringe.
After the procedure, the elastic band is removed. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed and the area is covered with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. The entire test will only take a few minutes.
Either method (heel or vein withdrawal) of collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.
The blood sample will be processed by a machine. Parts of a BMP may be available in minutes in an emergency, but more commonly, the full test results come after a few hours or the next day.
If any of the BMP results appear to be abnormal, further testing may be necessary to determine what's causing the problem and how to treat it.
The BMP test is considered a safe procedure. However, as with many medical tests, some problems can occur with having blood drawn, such as:
Having a blood test is relatively painless. Still, many kids are afraid of needles. Explaining the test in terms your child can understand might help ease some of the fear.
Allow your child to ask the technician any questions he or she might have. Tell your child to try to relax and stay still during the procedure, as tensing muscles and moving can make it harder and more painful to draw blood. It also may help if your child looks away when the needle is being inserted into the skin.
If you have questions about the BMP test, speak with your doctor.
Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
Date reviewed: August 2014
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|National Kidney Foundation (NKF) NKF seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.|
|American Medical Association (AMA) The AMA has made a commitment to medicine by making doctors more accessible to their patients. Contact the AMA at: American Medical Association|
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Diabetes Association (ADA) The ADA website includes news, information, tips, and recipes for people with diabetes.|
|American Society of Hematology This group provides information relating to blood, blood-forming tissues, and blood diseases.|
|Lab Tests Online This non-commercial site was developed by laboratory professionals to educate caregivers, patients, and patients' families about lab tests.|
|Definition: Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose in the blood is lower than it should be.|
|Blood Test (Video) These videos show what's involved in getting a blood test and what it's like to be the person taking the blood sample.|
|Calcium and Your Child Milk and other calcium-rich foods help build strong, healthy bones. But more than 85% of girls and 60% of boys don't get enough calcium each day.|
|Ultrasound: Renal (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder) A renal ultrasound makes images of your child's kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Doctors may order this test if they suspect kidney damage, cysts, tumors, kidney stones, or complications from urinary tract infections.|
|Urine Test: Microalbumin-to-Creatinine Ratio The microalbumin-to-creatinine ratio test is most commonly used to screen for kidney problems in teens with diabetes. It may also be used to monitor kidney function in kids and teens who have a kidney disease.|
|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, perform several functions essential to health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.|
|Diabetes Center Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.|
|Diabetes Center Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.|
|Getting a Blood Test (Video) A blood test might sound scary, but it usually takes less than a minute. Watch what happens in this video for kids.|
|Dehydration Sometimes kids lose fluids and salts through fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or long periods of exercise with excessive sweating. Here are some tips on preventing or treating dehydration.|
|Chronic Kidney Diseases Kidneys are about the size of your fist and shaped like beans. What happens when this important pair of organs doesn't work well? Find out in this article for kids.|
|When Your Child Has a Chronic Kidney Disease Parents of kids who have a chronic kidney disease often worry about what might happen next, how their child feels, and what treatments are likely to be involved. Find answers here.|
|Hypoglycemia When blood glucose levels drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment.|
|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.|
|Diabetes Center Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.