What is a CBC Blood Test?
A Complete Blood Count, sometimes called CBC Blood Test, is a type of blood test that focuses on counting blood cells. It also helps analyze them to help evaluate a person’s overall health status and check if they have signs of certain conditions.
Through this test, healthcare professionals can determine if there are any abnormalities in a person’s bloodstream, and they can use the findings to determine the next set of tests to conduct to narrow down the possible conditions that a patient may have and to rule out others.
Here are examples of what CBC Blood Tests can help detect the following in a patient:
- If they have any deficiencies in vitamins and minerals
- If they have Anemia (the state of not having enough red blood cells to scatter oxygen around the body)
- If the patient is dealing with any side effects of specific medication or chemotherapy
- If they have certain types of cancer
- If they have bacterial infections
- If they have specific blood disorders
- If they have bone marrow disorders
This blood test is essential because it can help detect all these and more by just taking a small amount of blood from a patient. It’s also safe and poses no risk to any patient taking it.
How are CBC Blood Tests conducted?
CBC Blood Tests are one of the most straightforward tests to conduct.
On the part of the patient…
- They only need to inform their healthcare providers in advance about any medications they are taking because certain medications might affect the results.
- Unlike other blood tests, they don’t need to fast for several hours before this test. They can eat and drink as usual.
On the part of the healthcare provider…
- First, they will have the patient sit down
- Then, they will wipe the blood drawing site with antiseptic
- After cleaning the site, they will tie a band near the blood drawing site to help make the veins more visible
- They will use a needle to draw blood from a vein
- After drawing enough blood, they will remove the needle and cover the punctured site with a gauze pad or sterile bandage
- They will send the blood sample to a laboratory for analysis
- The results should be ready within a day or two
- Once the results are ready, they will discuss their findings with the patient
Depending on the findings, follow-up tests might be recommended, especially if the person has signs of having certain conditions based on the CBC Blood Test results.
How are CBC Blood Test Results Interpreted?
CBC Blood Test results count and analyze the following:
- Red blood cell count (also referred to as erythrocytes)
- Hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that aid with oxygen delivery to tissues)
- Hematocrit (the volume of red blood cells)
- Blood sedimentation rate (how fast red blood cells sink to the bottom of the tube)
- Red cell distribution width or RCDW (differences of red blood cell volume and size)
- White blood cell count (also referred to as leukocytes)
- Monocyte, lymphocyte, neutrophil, basophil, and eosinophil counts (these are the five different types of white blood cells)
- Platelet count (also referred to as thrombocytes)
- Mean Corpuscular Volume or MCV (average size/volume of red blood cells)
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin or MCH (average amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells)
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration or MCHC (average amount of hemoglobin concentration in red blood cells)
The normal values for these will vary from lab to lab.
As mentioned earlier, healthcare providers will discuss the results with their patients and inform them of any problems they are at risk of having.
Here are the possible problems that the results can point to:
- Red Blood Cell Count (Erythrocytes) = Anemia, kidney problems, bleeding, malnutrition, heart problems, lung problems, polycythemia, dehydration
- Hemoglobin = Anemia, cirrhosis, cancer, malnutrition, bleeding, dehydration, polycythemia
- Hematocrit = Anemia, cirrhosis, cancer, malnutrition, bleeding, dehydration, polycythemia, hemochromatosis
- Blood sedimentation rate = Inflammations
- Red cell distribution width (RCDW) = Vascular diseases
- White blood cell counts (Leukocytes), including subtypes: monocyte, lymphocyte, neutrophil, basophil, and eosinophil = Infections, leukemia
- Platelet count (Thrombocytes) = Bleeding/clotting problems
- Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) = Anemia, malnutrition, thalassemia
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) = Anemia, malnutrition, thalassemia
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) = Anemia, malnutrition, thalassemia
CBC Blood Test Example:
Healthcare professionals conducting CBC Blood Tests usually have sheets indicating the results.
If you don’t have a standard results sheet for CBC Blood Tests, we’d like you to know we have a free CBC Blood Test PDF template you can download!
Our template is printable, but if you prefer paperless documentation, you can use the PDF file because it has interactable fields to write down the measurements of the different components of your patient’s blood.
Since normal value ranges for each component of CBC Blood Tests vary from lab to lab, we kept the column for normal values blank so you can indicate your lab’s normal values.
There are also empty sections where you can indicate your patient’s family and personal medical histories, their symptoms, and what plans you have for them based on the results.
If you like what you see and believe this is an excellent way to record patient information and CBC Blood Test results, feel free to download our printable CBC Blood Test PDF template.
When is it Best to Conduct a CBC Blood Test?
CBC Blood Tests are typically conducted when patients present themselves with the following symptoms:
- If they have bruises or bleeding, especially for reasons unknown to them,
- if they feel weak and fatigued, especially if they get quickly tired despite not doing anything strenuous,
- if they have a fever,
- if they have headaches and feel dizzy,
- if they feel nauseated and have vomited because of nausea,
- if their joints hurt,
- if they have inflammations in their body,
- if their heart rate is abnormal,
- or if their blood pressure is high or low.
The blood test will help evaluate these symptoms. It can set the next steps for what healthcare providers must do for the patient, especially when diagnosing an underlying condition and creating treatment plans.
Here are two other examples of when it would be best to conduct CBC Blood Tests:
- Routine check-ups:
Some people often schedule themselves for routine check-ups so they are always in the know about the current state of their overall health. Suppose a CBC Blood Test picks up on abnormalities not present in previous results. In that case, the healthcare provider can work to detect underlying conditions early and provide treatment before they get any worse.
- Patient monitoring:
CBC Blood Tests are conducted to monitor the health status of patients diagnosed with a particular condition related to abnormal CBC Blood Test results. New results will help healthcare providers determine if the patient is getting better or worse, if their treatment has any side effects, and if the treatment plan is effective and working.
How can Carepatron help with blood test-related work?
We hope this guide has informed you well enough or helped refresh you about CBC Blood Tests. If you’re a healthcare provider who routinely conducts blood tests, we hope our CBC Blood Test PDF template helps you record your test results efficiently.
While you’re still here, we’d like to request your time to check out Carepatron’s features if you haven’t. We have many cool features, and we’re confident they’ll convince you to consider us as your go-to clinical documentation improvement software and blood test app!
We won’t discuss our features here except for one related to our CBC Blood Test template: our resource library.
Our resource library houses a massive collection of clinical resources that covers numerous healthcare fields, practices, and topics! Need resources for mental health? We got you covered with worksheets for various types of mental health therapy. We even have assessments to help you assess the symptoms of mental health conditions!
We also have many templates that resemble our free CBC Blood Test PDF template! We have templates for other blood tests like LDH, ALT, AST, and more! We even have a blood pressure test template and several for respiratory problems, physical disabilities, HIV screening, and more!
The best thing about these clinical resources is that they’re all free! So, download as much as you want and need!