A Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count is a blood test that is used to find out how many red blood cells (RBCs) are present in a blood sample. The results of an RBC Count can be used to help diagnose blood-related conditions.
What is Red Blood Cell Count?
An RBC count is a measure of the number of RBCs in the blood. It is a part of the complete blood count test
RBCs make up about 40% of the blood volume and contain hemoglobin. This protein enables RBCs to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and transport a small portion of carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be expelled. RBCs have a lifespan of 120 days and are continuously produced in the bone marrow as they need to replace those RBCs that age and degrade.
A number of conditions can affect RBC production, including their numbers, lifespan, and structure.
Why is Red Blood Cell Count suggested?
The RBC count test is used for
- The general evaluation of a person’s health.
- Checking for conditions like anemia (low RBC count) or polycythemia (high RBC count).
- Screening for blood-related cancers.
How is Red Blood Cell Count performed?
An RBC count can be performed by taking a small blood sample from
- A vein in the arm.
- A fingerstick.
- Heel sticks in newborn babies.
What are the parameters measured in the Red Blood Cell Count test?
The RBC Count test measures the number of RBCs contained in a liter or an equivalent unit of blood.
Preparation Before Performing the Red Blood Cell Count test
No special preparation is required for this test.
Post-care after the Red Blood Cell Count test
No post-care is necessary after the RBC Count test.
Sample Types in the Red Blood Cell Count test
Only blood samples are collected in the RBC Count test.
Side effects/risks of the Red Blood Cell Count test
Risks associated with RBC count are minimal and include
- Infection at the puncture site.