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Old 14-04-10, 15:42
Onwards & Upwards Onwards & Upwards is offline
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Interesting info on what full blood count tells your doctor

Hey guys and gals!

I had a moment of bravery and Googled!

I was curious as to what the full blood count test tells our doctors and was relieved to read the following. It's confirmed what I had hoped, that it really does tell them a lot and points them to all sorts of things!

I had one done a coupla months ago and was told it came back clear, I only wish I had read the following sooner, then I might have felt more reassured by my all clear result.

The best line in all of this: "this blood test can tell your doctor if anything is wrong within your body"

"As a phlebotomist, I draw blood for lots of blood tests. The complete blood count (CBC) is by far the most common blood test I draw blood for. That's because the CBC can tell your doctor so much about what's going on with your blood. It is a very useful diagnostic tool. Just what does this blood test tell your doctor? Let's look at what specifically the complete blood count tests for. I will also go over what abnormal values can mean as well.

What the complete blood count tests for...

Red Blood Count: The red blood count tells your doctor how many red blood cells are in your blood. With a relatively small amount of blood, a machine can tell how many red blood cells you have per volume of blood. Increases can indicate problems such as polycythemia or excessive fluid loss (such as with diarrhea). Decreases can indicate internal bleeding or anemia. The mean corpuscular volume, a related test included in the CBC, tells the average size of your red blood cells.

White Blood Count: The white blood count determines how many white blood cells are in your body per volume of blood. White blood cells are cells that help fight off harmful infections from your body. As with the red blood count, an increase and decrease from normal levels can indicate problems. A decrease indicates leukopenia (low white blood count) which can be caused by viral infections, some drug treatments, cancer treatment, and autoimmune disorders. An increase can indicate a bacterial infection that your body is fighting off. It can also indicate more severe problems such as diseased bone marrow or leukemia. What a high white blood count means is determined by the...

White blood count differential: There are 5 different types of white blood cells. They are the neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte, eosinophil, and basophil. Depending on the number and distribution of the types of these blood cells your doctor can tell where to look for the cause of the problem.

Hemoglobin: This part of the complete blood count blood test tells how much oxygen your red blood cells can carry. This value is of particular importance to anyone who suspects iron deficiency anemia. There are 2 other

tests included in the CBC hemoglobin blood test. The mean corpuscular hemoglobin calculates the average amount of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells. The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (another part of the complete blood count) calculates the average concentration (or density) of hemoglobin inside a red blood cell.

Hematocrit: The hematocrit tells the ratio of red blood cells to whole blood. Remember that whole blood consists of the blood cells and plasma, the liquid part of the blood. The result of this part of the blood test backs up the red blood count.

Platelets: This part of the complete blood count tells how many platelets are in your blood stream. Platelets are the clotting cells in your blood. They stop bleeding when a leak springs. Decreased numbers can indicate bleeding because the platelets are being used. Decreased amounts can also indicate inherited diseases or can be a result of certain cancers and chemotherapy.

Remember, all of the above tests are included in the complete blood count (CBC) blood test. If a lab has the right machines (and most, if not all, should) this test can be done with less than 1 milliliters of blood! That's 1/5 of a teaspoon!

The complete blood count blood test is a very broad blood test. While it can't give your doctor a definitive diagnosis for most things, this blood test can tell your doctor if anything is wrong within your body, and if so where to look closer. It can also back your doctor up if he suspects something is wrong with your body.

This blood test is most commonly collected via a blood draw. The CBC will sometimes be done with a capillary puncture (a finger stick), but this method is not always as accurate as a regular blood draw.

So remember, when your doctor send you to go get a blood test, the complete blood count will very likely be involved.


Hospital lab experience

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Old 14-04-10, 16:11
anthrokid's Avatar
anthrokid anthrokid is offline
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Re: Interesting info on what full blood count tells your doctor

A fantastic bit of information to post!
Hopefully it will reassure a lot of people on here, it's great to have it sourced by someone who knows a lot about it too.
Thank you so much for thinking of everyone here and posting it for us all!
- A.
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Old 14-04-10, 16:27
MightyPC MightyPC is offline
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Re: Interesting info on what full blood count tells your doctor

Interesting post Onwards. I had a FBC in Feb and was not convinced about the test, though I was told that something would have probably been elevated or low had there been a problem. Also had liver and kidney function, PSA - which i have learned is not always reliable.

My concern at the time was bowel C so was convinced that aneamia would be present.
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Old 14-04-10, 19:21
Onwards & Upwards Onwards & Upwards is offline
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Re: Interesting info on what full blood count tells your doctor

You're welcome!

I'm feeling a bit more chilled after reading it myself!
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