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Red Cell Distribution Width

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Overview

A Blood Count test gives the physician a complete idea about blood health and the concentration of hemoglobin. Red Cell Distribution Width is an important part of this test.

What is the Red Cell Distribution Width test?

Red Cell Distribution Width is a diagnostic procedure that measures the degree to which red blood cells vary in size and volume.

Red blood cells transmit oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body and any abnormality in red blood cell size could affect their ability to carry oxygen properly. Higher than normal numbers on the Red Cell Distribution Width, for instance, could indicate a nutrient deficiency or some form of anemia.

Red Cell Distribution Width may be required along with other blood tests to accurately diagnose a disease.

Why is the Red Cell Distribution Width test suggested?

Red Cell Distribution Width is suggested in the following cases:

  • To diagnose anemia, thalassemia, and other blood-related conditions.
  • After an injury that has caused severe blood loss.
  • To check for hereditary illnesses like sickle cell anemia.

How is the Red Cell Distribution Width test performed?

Red Cell Distribution Width is performed by a trained pathologist in the following steps:

  • A blood sample is taken and dressing is applied.
  • The sample is sent to the laboratory for testing.
  • Electronic instruments measure the size of the cells through pulses.

Parameters measured in the Red Cell Distribution Width test

The Red Cell Distribution Width test measures the size of red blood cells with 6-8 microns being the normal size.

Preparation before performing the Red Cell Distribution Width test

The following preparations ensure that Red Cell Distribution Width goes smoothly:

  • The patient may be asked to fast before the test.
  • Patients should inform the pathologist if they are prone to excessive bleeding.

Post-care after Red Cell Distribution Width

No specific post-care is needed after the Red Cell Distribution Width test.

Sample types in Red Cell Distribution Width

A blood sample is needed for Red Blood Cell Distribution Width.

Side effects/risks of the Red Cell Distribution Width test

There is a minor risk of excessive bleeding in the Red Cell Distribution Width test.

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