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A Full Blood Count

What Makes Up A Full Blood Count?

When it comes to blood tests, the mostly commonly ordered one is by far the complete blood count (CBC). In order to understand the test, it is important to know that blood consists of two major parts: cellular and plasma elements. The plasma is the yellowish liquid that blood cells are suspended in, allowing the blood to flow easily around the body. The other part of the blood is made up of blood cells.

A Full Blood Count

Human blood consists of red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC) and platelets. Each of these cell types have a very important function. A complete blood count test will measure the quantity of all the various cell types in the blood, and offer some other valuable information related to them.

What are the components of complete blood count?

The complete blood count measures many essential values in relation to the patient’s blood cells. The results are interpreted by doctors who will review the results in detail.

The complete blood count will typically include the following components:

  • White blood cell count (WBC or Leukocyte count)
  • WBC differential count
  • Red blood cell count (RBC or erythrocyte count)
  • Hematocrit (Hct)
  • Hemoglobin (Hbg)
  • Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
  • Red cell distribution width (RDW)
  • Platelet count
  • Mean platelet volume (MPV)

On reviewing the results of a complete blood count, other vital information will be gathered about these cells including their colour, function, size and maturity.

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The white blood cell (WBC) differential is in reference to the number of the different types of white blood cells that are present in the blood sample. The different types of WBCs that have specific functions, and that are routinely reported in a complete blood count, are lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils.

Brush up your skills around haematology and blood results

If you’re a nurse or other healthcare professional based at a surgery, clinic or similar, then our two scheduled CPD courses An introduction to basic haematology and biochemistry investigations and Advanced interpretation of blood results in clinical practice and could well prove useful. The introductory course offers a solid foundation in the basics of blood tests results, and is held at Hamilton House, London, in June 2020. The highly rated advanced course builds on this foundation, and is ideal for anyone who already has a working knowledge of blood tests and perhaps already uses blood testing as part of their daily decision planning. The courses are worth 8 and 14 hours’ of CPD respectively and all course material, evaluations and refreshments will be provided.

Hurry and book today as spaces are limited.