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The Complete Blood Count is a common blood test that provides essential information about the components of your blood. It evaluates various elements, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Here are some key components measured in a CBC:

1. Red Blood Cell Count (RBC)

  • Measures the number of red blood cells in a given volume of blood.
  • Helps assess oxygen-carrying capacity and the potential presence of anemia or polycythemia.

2. Hemoglobin (Hb)

  • Measures the protein responsible for carrying oxygen in red blood cells.
  • Low levels can indicate anemia, while high levels may suggest conditions like polycythemia or dehydration.

3. Hematocrit (Hct)

  • Determines the proportion of red blood cells in the total blood volume.
  • Helps assess blood viscosity and the potential presence of anemia or dehydration.

4. White Blood Cell Count (WBC)

  • Evaluates the total number of white blood cells, which play a crucial role in the immune system.
  • Abnormal levels can indicate infection, inflammation, or certain blood disorders.

5. Platelet Count

  • Measures the number of platelets involved in blood clotting.
  • Low platelet counts can result in an increased risk of bleeding, while high counts may indicate clotting disorders.

6. Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

  • Reflects the average size of red blood cells.
  • Helps classify anemias as microcytic, normocytic, or macrocytic.

7. Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH)

  • Measures the average amount of hemoglobin in each red blood cell.
  • Assists in diagnosing and classifying different types of anemias.

8. Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)

  • Indicates the concentration of hemoglobin in each red blood cell.
  • Can help differentiate between different types of anemias.

9. Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW)

  • Measures the variation in size of red blood cells.
  • Can be helpful in identifying the cause of anemia.

A CBC is a valuable tool that provides important insights into your overall health and helps identify various blood disorders, anemias, infections, and other medical conditions. It is often used as a routine screening test and may be ordered in response to specific symptoms or to monitor the effectiveness of treatments.