Q:

What do the hemogram blood tests determine?

A:

A hemogram, otherwise known as a complete blood count, allows doctors to check for disorders such as infections, anemia, hyperchromia, thalassemia and hereditary spherocytosis, according to Wyoming Health Fairs. A complete blood count also detects leukemia and a large number of diseases and disorders, notes Mayo Clinic.

A hemogram measures hemoglobin, platelet count, red blood cell count and white blood cell count. Hemoglobin indicates the amount of oxygen-carrying protein in the blood, notes Mayo Clinic. Red blood cells carry oxygen, while white blood cells ward off infection. Platelets help the blood clot when there is an injury. A complete blood count also measures hematocrit, or the proportion of red blood cells to the amount of plasma in the bloodstream.

The mean corpuscular volume measures the average size of red blood cells. Mean corpuscular hemoglobin calculates the amount of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin inside an individual red blood cell, according to WHF. Red cell distribution width takes into account the variation in size of red blood cells.

A white blood cell count can determine how well a patient responds to cancer treatments, notes WebMD. Too few platelets in the blood may point to a future problem related to uncontrolled bleeding. Too many platelets may indicate a blood clot somewhere in the body. Blood samples are observed under a microscope and lab technicians count the number of blood cells within a certain area to obtain complete blood cell counts.

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