“Complete Blood Count” or “Full Blood Count”
This is the most common and routine type of blood test.
WebMD.com in summary says: A complete blood count is a test that counts the cells that make up your blood, and it can tell your doctor a lot about your overall health. It measures:
• Red blood cells. These deliver oxygen throughout your body.
• White blood cells. These help your body fight germs.
• Platelets. These help your blood clot.
Other test results are:
• Hemoglobin. This is the protein in your blood that holds oxygen.
• Hematocrit. This test tells how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells.
If your results are inside what are called “reference ranges”, they’re considered normal.
USA Typical Reference Ranges for adults
• Red blood cells: 4.5 million to 5.9 million cells/mcL for men; 4.1 million to 5.1 million cells/mcL for women
• White blood cells: 4,500 to 11,000 cells/mcL
• Platelets: 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/mcL
• Hemoglobin: 14 to 17.5 gm/dL for men; 12.3 to 15.3 gm/dL for women
• Hematocrit: 41.5% to 50.4% for men; 35.9% to 44.6% for women
Note on units: mcL means microliter. dL means deciliter, gm means grams
When you get your test results, you’ll be given the reference range appropriate for you, matching the units of measure of your results.
White blood cells are of many types, and your test report is likely to have a breakdown into these types, each with its own reference range: Neutrophil, Lymphocyte, Monocyte, Eosinophil, Basophil. Each of these has significance to your doctor.
Other Blood Tests
Depending on your condition and on your symptoms of illness, other forms of blood test may be carried out.
Everyone could probably benefit from having an occasional blood test for cholesterol levels (say every five years), but if you are at more risk than average (eg. Being overweight, heart disease, high blood pressure, or history of smoking) then your doctor will want to test more frequently.
For men, the PSA test measures aspects of the state of the Prostate gland, and has value in early diagnosis of problems, including the risk of cancer.
And more tests…
If you have specific problems, or your Complete Blood Count shows potential problems, then there’s a whole range of possible blood tests that can follow. Quite often, the initial tests suggest several possible causes of your problem, and further tests are used to narrow down the underlying cause, and to identify treatment options.
Link to my post on “Cholesterol”
Link to my post on “PSA Test”