What is CBC test? Why is it performed and how it is done?
Thursday, 26 July 2018, 17:32 IST
CBC test or Complete Blood Count Test is that test which measures cellular count making up your blood. It includes the counting of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. This test may even be taken as the part of usual health check up. When you are asked to do Complete Blood Test, the doctor can also ask to go for tests for leukemia, anemia, etc. They are done to explain the cause behind sudden fever, overall weakness and the feeling of tiredness. If there is any blood condition, it is mandatory to keep an eye on it. But, if this is the only medical test you are taking, you can eat as usual.
How the test is performed?
The procedure to carry out CBC is easy and just takes a few minutes. The lab tech or nurse takes the blood sample by inserting the needle into the vein. The collected sample of blood is then sent to the laboratory for reviewing. After the test is done, you may get back to your workplace. Along with the CBC blood test, you may be asked to do ESR blood test or erythrocyte sedimentation rate blood test. The test will show the sedimentation rate of RBC in an hour’s time. The hematology test gives tentative measure of degree of inflammation. The normal ESR rate should be 0-20mm/hr in females and 1-15mm/hr in males.
What can CBC blood test measure?
It can speak a lot many things about your health to the doctor. The following can be measured with this test:
How to read the report?
It can measure the count of white blood cells or WBC. WBC is an essential component of blood as it kills infection. If WBC is more in the blood stream, it implies that there is inflammation somewhere in the body. Even if WBC is low, it says that there is an infection. Per microliter of blood has 4500-10000 WBC.
RBC or Red Blood Cells is equally important as it helps to carry oxygen all throughout the body. It also filters carbon dioxide, an important function. Low RBC count suggests anemia. The normal range in males is 5-6 millions of RBC per MCL. Women have 4-5 million cells.
The test measures hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is blood protein which holds oxygen.
HCT or Hematocrit is the measure of Red Blood Cells in the blood. HCT suggests how much of blood is RBC or Red Blood Cells. Lower HCT means less iron in the blood.
It measures platelet count. Platelets help in blood clotting. The normal count is between 140000 -450000 cells per MCL.
When you get the report, the normal range and your results will be mentioned clearly. If the results are much within the normal range, your report is normal.
So, now you can understand how very important Complete Blood Count Test is. It can tell a lot of things about your health. Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Test or VDRL test is performed for syphilis detection. The doctor can prescribe more specific tests to diagnose the main disease. No matter what test you are prescribed, look for a reliable diagnostic center.
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