Alternate Names : Complete Blood Count
A CBC, also called a complete blood count, is a screening test used to
diagnose and manage many diseases. A CBC measures the status of important
features of the blood, including the following:
mean corpuscular hemoglobin, which is also called MCH
mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, which is also called MCHC
mean corpuscular volume, also called MCV
number of platelets
number of red blood cells, also called RBCs
number of white blood cells, also called WBCs
percentage of blood composed of cells, called the hematocrit
total amount of hemoglobin in the blood
Who is a candidate for the test?
A CBC is a part of routine blood testing done with physical examinations.
It is also used to help diagnose many disorders, including problems with your
blood, heart, kidneys, and nutritional status.
How is the test performed?
A blood sample is taken from a vein on your forearm or hand. First, the skin
over your vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, called a tourniquet,
is wrapped around your upper arm. This enlarges the veins in your lower arm by restricting
blood flow through them. A fine needle is gently inserted into a vein, and the tourniquet
is removed. Blood flows from your vein through the needle and into a syringe
or vial. After the needle is withdrawn, the puncture site is covered with a bandage for a
short time. This helps stop or prevent bleeding at the site.