Complete Blood Count definition:
The major cells in the blood are white blood cells (WBC), red blood cells (RBC), and platelets. Each of these types of cells carries out specific and important functions.
The complete blood count test measures the quantity of all the different types of cells in the blood. It also provides some valuable information on other parameters related to each type of blood cell.
Complete Blood Count procedure:
Blood is collected by inserting a needle into a vein and allowing the blood to flow into a tube. The blood sample is sent to the laboratory and the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are counted. The CBC is used to test for, diagnose, and monitor many different conditions.
Complete Blood Count interpretation:
- The number and types of white blood cells (WBCs). Your body has five types of white blood cells. All play a role in fighting infections. High numbers of WBCs, or of a specific type of WBC, may mean you have an infection or inflammation somewhere in your body. Low numbers of WBCs may mean you are at risk for infections.
- The number of red blood cells (RBCs). RBCs carry oxygen throughout the body and remove excess carbon dioxide. Too few RBCs may be a sign of anemia or other diseases. In rare cases, too many may cause problems with blood flow.
- How the size of your red blood cells varies. This test is known as red cell distribution width (RDW). For instance, you may have greater differences in red blood cell size if you have anemia.
- Hematocrit. This means the portion of red blood cells in a certain amount of whole blood. A low hematocrit may be a sign of too much bleeding. Or it might mean that you have iron deficiency or other disorders. A higher than normal hematocrit can be caused by dehydration or other disorders.
- Hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of the body. Abnormalities can be a sign of problems ranging from anemia to lung disease.
- The average size of your red blood cells. This test is known as mean corpuscular volume (MCV). MCV goes up when your red blood cells are bigger than normal. This happens if you have anemia caused by low vitamin B12 or folate levels. If your red blood cells are smaller, this can mean other types of anemia, such as iron deficiency anemia.
- A platelet count. Platelets are cell fragments that play a role in blood clotting. Too few platelets may mean you have a higher risk of bleeding. Too many may mean a number of possible conditions.
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin. This test measures how much hemoglobin your red blood cells have.
To track your Complete Blood Count and to find out what each of the complete blood count markers normal ranges are, please read further here: https://healthmatters.io/biomarker-category/complete-blood-count-cbc