Saturday, January 19, 2008

Understanding the CBC Results

For those of you who are as new to blood counts as us, I found an article that explains some of the common things we are looking at when the doctor (any doctor) orders a complete blood count (CBC).

Normal Lab Values for Complete Blood Count:

Red Blood Cells -- The primary function of the red blood cells, or erythrocytes, is to carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and to transfer carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs

  • Hematocrit (HCT): The percentage of the blood made up of red blood cells.— male 42% — 52%

White blood cells — the cells that help the body fight infections and disease — are measured in terms of their number per a specific volume. The five specific types of white blood cells that follow are measured as a percentage of all leukocytes (white blood cells) - 5,000 — 10,000/mm3:

  • Neutrophils 55% — 70% First line of cellular defense against bacterial infection
  • Lymphocytes 20% — 40% B cells, which create antibodies against foreign invaders, such as infections and tumor cells, and T cells, which attack the same foreign invaders
  • Monocytes 2% — 8% Ingest foreign material, such as bacteria and fungi
  • Eosinophils 1% — 4% Destroy parasites and play a major role in allergic reactions
  • Basophils 0.5% — 1% Play a major role in inflammation.

Platelets -- 150,000 — 400,000/mm3 Cells that help stop bleeding by binding to the site of a wound.

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