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Complete blood count in children and adults: the main blood parameters, their interpretation, value and norms.
General (clinical) blood test – this is one of the most common methods of examination, which allows the doctor to find out the causes of some symptoms (eg, weakness, dizziness, fever, etc.), as well as identify some diseases of the blood and other organs. To perform a general blood test, capillary blood is usually taken from a finger, or blood from a vein. No special preparation requires a general blood test, but it is recommended to donate blood for this examination in the morning on an empty stomach.
What is the purpose of a general blood test?
Complete blood count is a survey that determines the following basic parameters of human blood:
The number of red blood cells (red blood cells). Hemoglobin level is the amount of a special substance that is contained in red blood cells and is responsible for the transport of oxygen from the lungs to other organs. The total number of leukocytes (white blood cells) and leukocyte formula (the number of different forms of leukocytes expressed as a percentage). The number of platelets (blood plates that are responsible for stopping bleeding when the vessel is damaged). Hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the volume of blood plasma (blood plasma is the part of the blood that is devoid of cells). The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is the sedimentation rate of red blood cells to the bottom of the tube, which allows to judge some properties of the blood.
Each of these parameters can tell a lot about the state of human health, as well as indicate possible diseases.
How is a complete blood count?
Complete blood count does not require special training. As a rule, the analysis is carried out in the morning, on an empty stomach (or 2 hours after a meal). For general analysis, blood is taken from the finger (usually from the ring finger) using a special sterile instrument, the scarifier. With a quick hand movement, the doctor performs a small puncture of the skin of the finger, from which a drop of blood soon appears. Blood is collected using a small pipette into a vessel resembling a thin tube. Less often, blood is taken from a vein for a general blood test.
The obtained blood is subjected to several studies: counting the number of blood cells using a microscope, measuring hemoglobin level, determining the ESR.
The general blood test is interpreted by your doctor, but you can evaluate the basic blood counts yourself.
Interpretation of the complete blood count
Interpretation of the complete blood count carried out in several stages, during which the main indicators of blood are evaluated. Modern laboratories are equipped with equipment that automatically determines the basic parameters of blood. Such equipment usually gives the results of the analysis in the form of a printout, in which the basic parameters of the blood are abbreviated in English. The table below will show the main indicators of the total blood count, the corresponding English abbreviations and norms.