A complete blood count, or CBC, provides an evaluation of overall health and can determine if a person has a variety of diseases, such as anemia, infection, and leukemia. The CBC measures several components of the blood, including:
Red blood cells (RBCs): These cells carry oxygen to the body's tissues. The CBC measures the number and size of RBCs, as well as the amount of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood.
White blood cells (WBCs): These cells help the body fight infection. As part of the CBC, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, and eosinophils are counted, as well as the types of WBCs.
Platelets: These small cells help the blood clot when you have a cut or wound. The CBC measures the number of platelets in the blood.
Hematocrit: Refers to how much blood is formed from red blood cells. The CBC measures the hematocrit to determine if you have anemia (low RBCs) or polycythemia (high RBCs).
Blood tests are usually performed during routine physical examinations or if you experience symptoms that might indicate a blood disorder. The results of the CBC can help your healthcare provider diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.
Blood and bone marrow (which forms blood) can be studied with a CBC test (which provides valuable information about the blood and some of the bone marrow.
identify who may have an infection
monitor other blood disease
identify acute and chronic illness.
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