Blood Count Essay

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Complete Blood Count with Differential is one of the most commonly ordered tests for routine check-ups and/or physicals. A complete blood count with differential measures the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelet levels, hemoglobin and hematocrit. Most of the time it is ordered as a screening test to check for anemia or infection. The Complete Blood Count with Differential is used to aid in diagnosing and treating a large number of conditions (Lockwood, 2013).
The Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential test involves a blood draw by a qualified lab technician. Tests usually part of a CBC include:
 Red blood cell (erythrocyte) count (RBC)
 Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb)
Hematocrit (Hct)
 Red blood cell indices:(mean corpuscular volume [MCV], mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration [MCHC]
 White blood cell (leukocyte) count (WBC)
 Differential white blood cell count or "diff"
 Platelet (thrombocyte) count (estimated)
 Blood cell morphology
In most cases, the CBC is done using an automated hematology analyzer, which can provide results in about a minute (Lockwood, 2013).

Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells are carriers of oxygen. A percentage of these cells contain hemoglobin, which has the capacity to combine with iron. It's the iron-hemoglobin molecular structure that helps carry oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to your tissues and in return, delivers carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be expelled. A CBC with Differential that shows low red blood cell levels can indicate anemia. RBCs comprise about 40% of total blood volume; the RBC count is the number of red blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood (Rauen, 2012). Normal red blood cells values vary a...

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...orders can all cause leukopenia. Severe leukopenia puts patients at severe risk of opportunistic infections, so treatments that involving interrupting skin integrity, such as injections, may increase risk.
Leukopenia may occur with alcoholism, anemias, bone marrow suppression, malaria, malnutrition, radiation, viral infection, SLE and other autoimmune disorders, and chemotherapy. A number of drugs may decrease the white blood count: antibiotics, anticonvulsants, cardiovascular drugs, NSAIDS, and diuretics.

Platelets, which are also produced in the bone barrow, are checked on a Complete Blood Count with Differential. Platelets help stop bleeding from injury by creating clots. If your CBC blood test shows low platelet levels, you might be more susceptible to bleeding. High platelet levels could mean that you have an increased risk of internal clots.

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