Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count, or CBC, is an easy and very common test that screens for certain disorders that can affect your health.

A CBC determines if there are any increases or decreases in your blood cell counts. Normal values vary depending on your age and your gender. Your lab report will tell you the normal value range for your age and gender.

A CBC can help diagnose a broad range of conditions, from anemia and infection to cancer.

Also See: Biochemistry Test in Chandigarh

What is it used for?

A complete blood count is a commonly performed blood test that is often included as part of a routine check up. Complete blood counts can be used to help detect a variety of disorders including infections, anemia, diseases of the immune system, and blood cancers.

Why do I need a complete blood count?

Your health care provider may have ordered a complete blood count as part of your checkup or to monitor your overall health. In addition, the test may be used to:

  • Diagnose a blood disease, infection, immune system and disorder, or other medical conditions
  • Keep track of an existing blood disorder

What happens during a complete blood count?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a complete blood count. If your health care provider has also ordered other blood tests, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) for several hours before the test. Your health care provider will let you know if there are any special instructions to follow.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

A CBC counts the cells and measures the levels of different substances in your blood. There are many reasons your levels may fall outside the normal range. For instance:

  • Abnormal red blood cell, hemoglobin, or hematocrit levels may indicate anemia, iron deficiency, or heart disease
  • Low white cell count may indicate an autoimmune disorder, bone marrow disorder, or cancer
  • High white cell count may indicate an infection or reaction to medication

If any of your levels are abnormal, it does not necessarily indicate a medical problem needing treatment. Diet, activity level, medications, a women’s menstrual cycle, and other considerations can affect the results. Talk to your health care provider to learn what your results mean.

Complete Blood Count General Reference Range

  Men Women
White blood cells 4,500 to 11,000 cells per microliter
Red blood cells 4.7-6.1  million cells/mcL 4.2-5.4  million cells/mcL
Hematocrit 40.7% to 50.3% 36.1% to 44.3%
Hemoglobin 13.5  to 17.5 grams per deciliter 12.3 to 15.3 gm/dL
Mean corpuscular volume 80 to 96
Platelets 150,000 to 350,000 platelets/mcL

Conclusion

A CBC is useful to evaluate the overall health status of a person. There are very low to absolutely no risks associated with a CBC test. The blood test only involves taking a sample of blood from the patient. The reports of this blood test can be used to decide the further course of treatment.

Also See: Hematology Test in Chandigarh