Complete Blood Count- Preparation and Procedure
What is Complete Blood Count (CBC)?
A CBC is a standard test administered to determine the increase or decrease in the blood cell counts. The CBC blood test measures different features of your blood that includes, the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets count, hemoglobin level, and hematocrit. The normal range varies according to age and gender.
When is a CBC test recommended?
A CBC test is recommended for the following purposes:
● A part of a routine health check-up
● To detect various diseases or medical conditions such as anaemia, infection, inflammation, bleeding disorder, or cancer.
● To monitor drug treatments such as chemotherapy and certain antibiotics that affect the total white blood cells.
Preparing for the CBC test
You can eat and normally drink before the test. The healthcare team takes a sample of your blood by inserting a needle into the vein in your arm. The blood sample is collected in a small test tube and sent to the laboratory for testing. You may only feel a slight sting when the needle goes in and out of the veins.
Understanding CBC results
A low red blood cell may indicate anemia. A red blood cell count that is higher than the normal range indicates a medical condition known as polycythemia or heart disease.
A low white blood cell may indicate an autoimmune disorder that destroys the white blood cells. A high white blood cell count may be a side effect of certain medications.
A platelet count lower than the normal range (thrombocytopenia) or higher than the normal range (thrombocytopenia) indicates an underlying medical condition. If the platelet count is outside the normal range, additional tests may be administered to diagnose the cause.