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10 Importance of CBC with Differential/Platelet

CBC with Differential/Platelet
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Complete blood count with differential (CBC) is a collection of blood tests used to identify illnesses such as infections, anaemia, leukaemia and other disorders of the blood. The test is focused at acquiring multiple health information from a given blood sample.

Through CBC, number and components of blood, including red blood cells (which carry oxygen) and white blood cells (which help fight infection), will also be determined. The white blood cell (WBC) count is a measure of WBC levels in the blood while the RBC count is a measure of RBC levels.

An increased amount of white blood cells indicate that the individual develops an infection response and may be experiencing inflammation. On the other hand, few red blood cells may indicate an anaemic condition while too much red blood cells may determine the potential presence of blood flow difficulties.

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CBC with Differential/Platelet

Other important information that can be identified in a complete blood count is the variation in the size of the red blood cells, the percentage of red blood cells in a certain volume of whole blood, haemoglobin value in the red blood cells, and of course, platelet count.

The average size of one’s red blood cells and the mean corpuscular haemoglobin are some other important aspects of the blood that can be observed through CBC.

The CBC test may be required by a doctor if there is suspicion of any blood disorder, or if the patient is exhibiting symptoms such as unusual bleeding or bruising, signs of infection or inflammation, and persistent weakness and tiredness; especially when the doctor suspects that it may be caused by anaemia.

The test may also be taken as a routine check-up procedure by a doctor or as a way of checking whether certain medications are effective. CBC with differential/platelet test is important in different ways. Some of them are discussed below.

1. Overall health status

Complete blood counts (CBC) are usually done to monitor the overall health status of a person as part of regular medical check-up procedures performed by doctors on individuals.

An individual doesn’t have to be sick or suffering from any blood related medical condition in order to undergo CBC test.

The procedure can help people become aware of their blood vitality, count levels and possible indications for the need to seek for further medical attention in case of unusual changes.

2. Useful in blood transfusion

CBC with differential/platelet can also be used with the main purpose of gathering data that will be helpful in the plan of treatment for patients who need blood transfusion.

In these situations, the individual needs to have monitor specific blood count for the whole day. The transfusion of blood components need to be planned based on the results of the CBC test.

Multiple blood counts or blood draws in a day is considerably an excessive practice of phlebotomy that can result to unnecessary transfusions. This treatment approach can certainly be outside the guidelines of clinical practice.

3. Screening for diseases

The test will also be useful in ruling out medical conditions. In platelets for example, the test carried will show the size and the number of platelets in the blood.

Normally, blood has a platelet count ranging from 150,000 to 450,000 per litre of blood. Any amount of platelets lower than 150,000 or more than 450,000 will indicate a blood disorder that requires medical attention.

Lower blood platelet count is a condition known as thrombocytopenia, while increased levels of blood platelets is known as thrombocytosis.

4. Platelet production and destruction inferences

Mean platelet volume (MPV) measures the average size of platelets in blood as part of the CBC. The average blood platelet size is usually larger when the body produces more platelets.

MPV results can therefore, be used to make inferences on the production of platelet in the bone marrow as well as the destruction of platelets.

MPV is high when platelets are destroyed as seen in medical disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, the Bernard-Soulier syndrome, immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), and myeloproliferative diseases. Unusual test results may also be related to pre-eclampsium.

5. Monitor the effects of drugs on the blood

Some drugs are associated with the reduced number of platelets in the blood. Such drugs include some antibiotics, (including those containing sulfa), aspirin and ibuprofen, H2-blocking agents, hydralazine, colchicine and indomethacin, isoniazid, quinidine, thiazide diuretics, and lastly tolbutamide.

Reduced levels of platelets can be indicative to the use of these drugs. The patient will be advised to use alternative drugs to mitigate the effects of the reduced platelet count.

6. White blood cell (WBC, leukocyte) count

White blood cells carries the role of protecting the body against infections.

When a person has a bacterial infection, the number of cells, including the white blood cells, results to increased levels. In this case, the platelets are also expected to increase proportionally.

The number of the cells may be used to identify an infection.

In some cases, it is also used to determine how the body is dealing with cancer treatment.

7. White blood cell type (WBC differential)

The immature specific type of the WBC called band neutrophils are part of the CBC test.

Neutrophils is the mature and most abundant type of WBC. The number of band neutrophils or stab cell communicates important information about the immunity and the ability of the body to react to injury.

8. Red blood cell (RBC) count

Red blood cells take up oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body. The delivery happens through the circulatory system.

The presence of RBCs aids the functionality of body tissues and is involved to normal platelet clotting process. If RBC count is very high (polycythemia), it indicates a thicker blood which could block the movement of the platelets to the injured surfaces and likely results to clumping together. In some instances, suffocation or increased bleeding may occur.

The MCHC  values indicate the concentration of haemoglobin in red blood cells. The MCH is the amount of haemoglobin in red blood cells. These figures help in the diagnosis of the types of anaemia.

9. Hematocrit

The CBC test also measures the volume red blood cells take up in the blood. This value is provided as a percentage of the given volume of blood.

Hematocrit values indicate the blood’s ability to transport oxygen as determined by the percentage of the RBCs in the blood where it’s normally 45% for male and 40% for female.

10. Platelet indices

This is measured by a machine and the values come from other measurements in a CBC. The MCV shows the size of the platelets.

Platelet Distribution Width (PDW) can also be determined, showing if the platelets are all of the same or different size.

Platelets are the smallest of the blood cells. They are very useful in the process of blood clotting. On injury to a blood vessel, the platelets will swell, clump together; forming a sticky plug which helps stop bleeding.

If the number of platelets is below the normal minimum level, uncontrolled bleeding may occur. While having too many platelets forms the possibility of abnormal blood clot formation.

It’s been essential for individuals to undergo CBC with differential/platelet to monitor any changes from normal levels that could help in the diagnosis and treatment of any underlying blood disorder.

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