CBC (Complete Blood Count)

A complete blood count test evaluates the cells that circulate in a person’s blood. It is also known as a full blood count and refers to a group of medical laboratory tests. The CBC test is useful in evaluating a person’s overall health. It can also detect a variety of diseases.

What Does CBC Measure?

CBC test measures several blood components and features that include:

  1. Red blood cells: These cells carry oxygen.
  2. White blood cells: These cells fight against infection.
  3. Haemoglobin: It is the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells.
  4. Haematocrit: It is the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component, or plasma, in blood.
  5. Platelets: It helps with blood clotting.

The abnormality detected in the cell count results indicates that the person has an underlying medical condition. CBC results will help to evaluate the person’s health further.

Importance of CBC

Reviews the overall health: CBC test is a part of the general medical examination. It helps to screen a variety of disorders that includes anaemia or leukaemia.

CBC diagnoses a medical condition: If a person is suffering from fever, fatigue, inflammation, etc., it detect them. Or in case the patient is experiencing weakness, bruising, or bleeding, a CBC test is advised. CBS test helps to diagnose the cause of these conditions. In case there is an infection, it can also be detected with this test.

CBC helps to monitor medical conditions: If a person is suffering from any blood disorder, a CBC test helps monitor the person’s blood count.

CBC test enables monitoring of medical treatment: If a person is under medication that may affect the blood count cells, then the CBC test helps to monitor the person’s health.

How Is CBC Performed?

Intake of food and water can be done normally before a CBC. However, the person will be asked to fast for a specific amount of time before the test.

During the test:

  • Skin is cleaned with an antiseptic wipe.
  • An elastic band is placed around the upper arm to help the vein swell.
  • Blood is drawn from the vein with the help of a needle.
  • The elastic band is removed.
  • The area is covered with a bandage to stop bleeding.
  • The blood sample is sent to the lab.

What Do The Results Indicate?

Normal CBC

RBC’s in men: 4.32-5.72 million cells/mcL; in women: 3.90-5.03 million cells/mcL
Haemoglobin in men: 135-175 grams/L; in women: 120-155 grams/L
Haematocrit in men: 38.8-50.0%; in women: 34.9-44.5%
WBC count: 3,500 to 10,500 cells/mcL
Platelet Count: 150,000 to 450,000/mcL

Abnormal CBC Indicates

Low RBC count indicates:

  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Blood cancer
  • Anaemia
  • Chronic Inflammatory diseases

High RBC count can be due to:

  • Smoking
  • Dehydration
  • Tumours

Low WBC count may be due to:

  • Viral and bacterial infection
  • Dietary deficiency
  • Lymphoma

High WBC count may be due to:

  • Infection
  • Leukaemia
  • Infection
  • Stress

Abnormal Neutrophil count indicates:

  • Autoimmune deficiency
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Severe infection

High platelet count indicates:

  • Viral and bacterial infection
  • Autoimmune deficiency
  • Cancer

Low platelet count indicates:

  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Infection
  • Anaemia

Abnormal Haemoglobin and Haematocrit:

  • It is usually the mirror of the RBC test, providing added information.

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