A complete blood count test is a part of routine checkups. The other name for it is CBC. In other words, for the simplest disease, doctors ask to get a blood count test. But what is it? We never realize its importance. But, it is an important part of a routine checkup. Also, it is the primary step to diagnose a health problem. In this test, blood is taken from veins. This test detects various disorders in the body. Also, it helps to determine the overall health. A complete blood count test detects various parameters of the blood. In other words, it calculates different components of blood. Blood contains various components that make up the whole blood. This test helps doctors to diagnose the illness. Additionally, it is used to determine the risk of various diseases. It also suggests the efficacy or the in-efficacy of a particular treatment.
Types of Blood Cells
A complete blood count test offers various benefits. This test evaluates different cells present in the blood. There are three types of cells measured in this test. These are as follows:
White Blood Cells (WBC)
The primary function of these cells is to fight against infection. These cells work as a defense mechanism of the body. White blood cells capture and destroy foreign material. CBC test evaluates the types of WBC with their numbers as well. They are present in blood in a specific number. Due to various health reasons, the number can vary. The total no varies as well. For instance, the number increases in the presence of infection. Further, these WBC are of five types.
Different WBC variation indicates a different type of infection. Most importantly, WBC indicates the efficacy of cancer treatment.
Red Blood Cells (RBC)
These are also known as oxygen carriers. Their main function is to transport oxygen in the body. In addition to this, it also removes carbon dioxide. These cells are generated in the bone marrow. The normal lifespan of RBCs is 120 days. Therefore, the continuous production of RBC is necessary. Hence, the continuous replacement of the old and lost ones is important. In addition to bleeding, other conditions also affect the production of RBC. A complete blood count test measures two components of RBC. These are hemoglobin and hematocrit. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen. And hematocrit is the mass of RBC in blood. Lower levels of these components indicate anemia. Anemia occurs when there is a deficiency of iron in the blood.
These are the smallest in size in comparison to all components. Platelets help in the clotting of blood. As a result, their deficiency causes blood loss from open cuts. Platelets are needed for sealing a cut or wound. Also, it helps to prevent blood loss. Even small changes in their number can be risky. As a result, it will cause excessive bleeding. A complete blood count test tells about its number and size.
Why a Complete Blood Count Test is required?
A complete blood count test reveals various health problems. It can be helpful in various ways.
- A CBC test results give an indication of overall health.
- This test is very helpful in diagnosis. Because it will diagnose the main cause of illness. Sometimes we face some unclear issues like fatigue, dizziness, fever, etc. So, this test gives a clear picture of the problem.
- While following a treatment, progress should be monitored. A CBC test does exactly that. In some cases, the progress is directly related to this test. So, to monitor the current condition, CBC is needed. It tells how well a treatment is working.
How a Complete Blood Count Test is done?
CBC can be done with both fasting and non-fasting techniques. Normally, fasting is not required. But, it depends on the requirement. The doctor may advise you on that. The pre-conditions vary as per the medical condition.
For CBC, blood is drawn from the vein. Usually, it is taken from the inside of the elbow. But, it can also be taken from the back of your hand. The attendant will clean the spot with antiseptic. Then he/she places a tie around the upper arm to collect the blood. Afterward, he will insert the needle to collect blood in a vial. After removing the tie, he will cover the area with cotton to stop the bleeding. Finally, the samples are labeled and sent to a lab.
What do the results of a CBC indicate?
A complete blood count test might not be a final test. Increased values of the parameters give an idea about the condition. For further treatment, special tests are needed. But, an imperfect result of CBC maybe because of the following reasons:
- Vitamin or iron deficiency
- Problem with clotting of blood
- Heart problem
- Adverse reaction of something (allergy)
- Any kind of infection
Hence, it is necessary to understand that CBC is an important test. It helps to analyze various problems. Also, it is the most common test prescribed by doctors. Overall it is done to know about the wellbeing of the whole body.