Blood count is an important diagnostic test that is performed as the first and basic test recommended by doctors for most diseases and conditions. It is simple, inexpensive, and at the same time provides a lot of valuable information about the health and functioning of the whole organism, as many diseases lead to abnormalities in the morphological image. The morphology is based on the assessment of the morphotic elements of the blood, i.e. the red blood cell system, the white blood cell system and the platelets. The observation of changes in any of the assessed parameters should lead to a suspicion of a disease, not necessarily from the haematopoietic system, and thus lead to further, more detailed diagnostics depending on the type of abnormalities observed.

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Moreover, due to the fact that blood count is a test indirectly reflecting the state of health of the body, it should be performed both in a woman planning a pregnancy and regularly during pregnancy, because it is a heavy burden on the body. For this reason, it is worth doing so that in the event of any irregularities, the treatment that protects both the mother and the child should be implemented.

1. Method of taking blood for a complete blood count

Blood collection

You should have blood tests at least eight times during the nine months of pregnancy

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In order to perform the morphology, venous blood is collected from the patient, most often from the area of ​​the elbow bend. The patient should report on an empty stomach, after at least eight-hour break from the last, easily digestible meal.
The blood is collected in a test tube containing EDTA and then sent to the laboratory for analysis. Currently, laboratories use standardized automatic analyzers that analyze samples very quickly and precisely and provide the determined values. The results are obtained on special printouts. Usually, laboratory-specific normal values ​​are given on the side. Regardless of this, however, it is important to remember to consult the results with a doctor, because he will properly interpret any changes based on the patient's health condition and other diagnostic tests.

2. Parameters assessed in morphology and interpretation of results

In terms of the erythrocyte system, the following parameters are most often assessed in morphology:
I RBC - the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) - the norm for men is 4.5-5.9 million / mm³, the norm for women is 4.2-5.4 million / mm³;

  • its decrease is related to deficiency anemia (iron, folic acid or vitamin B12 deficiency), hemolytic, haemorrhagic, aplastic anemia or anemia of chronic diseases;
  • an increase above the norm is often associated with the occurrence of primary or secondary polycythemia.

II MCV - average erythrocyte volume - the norm for men - 80-94 fl, the norm for women - 81-99 fl;

  • an increase most often in the case of megaloblastic anemia (associated with a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12);
  • a decrease most often in microcytic anemia (related to iron deficiency).

III MCH and MCHC - mean erythrocyte hemoglobin content and erythrocyte hemoglobin concentration, respectively - MCH norms - 27-31 pg, MCHC norms - 33-37 g / dl;
a decrease in these parameters occurs most often in anemia together with the other changes already mentioned.

IV HCT - hematocrit - the norm for men is 0.40-0.54, the norm for women is 0.40-0.51;

  • a decrease is observed in states of fluid overload and anemia;
  • an increase in dehydration and hyperemia (e.g. polycythemia vera).

V Hb / HGB - hemoglobin - in principle, this test is not included in the morphology, but it is usually performed simultaneously - the norm for men is 14-18 g / 100 ml, the norm for women is 12-16 g / 100 ml - decrease in value Hemoglobin has been associated with the occurrence of anemia for a variety of reasons.
VI Reticulocytes - the norm is 20–130 x 109 / l;

  • an increase in the presence of hemorrhages or anemia;
  • fall in bone marrow aplasia.

In terms of the white blood cell system, we most often evaluate:
IWBC - the number of leukocytes (white blood cells) - normal from 4 500 to 10 000 / mm³;

  • decline (leukopenia) is associated with congenital depressed production, malignant marrow infiltration, drug-induced destruction;
  • growth (leukocytosis) most often during acute viral, bacterial and fungal infections, in cancerous bone marrow, connective tissue diseases, drug-induced.

II Neutrophils (neutrophils) - normal 1.5–7.4 x 109 / l - increase most often associated with acute bacterial infections, decrease in the case of cancerous marrow infiltration, or drug-induced decrease.

III Eosinophils (eosinophils) - normal 0.02–0.67 x 109 / l - increase in allergic and parasitic diseases.

IV Basophils (basophils) - norm 0–0.13 x 109 / l - increase in inflammations, infections and allergies.

V Lymphocytes - normal 1.1–3.5 x 109 / l - increase in viral infections.

VI Monocytes - the norm 0.21–0.92 x 109 / l - increase in hematological diseases, connective tissue diseases, infections.

Platelets or thrombocytes (PLT) normally 140,000-450,000 / mm³ are an important element in blood clotting. An increase in their number may be associated with the occurrence of immunological, infectious or neoplastic diseases, while a decrease in their number may be caused by autoimmune destruction, cancerous marrow infiltration or hypersplenism and is associated with the occurrence of platelet bleeding disorder.

Due to the importance of blood counts in detecting many different diseases, this examination should be performed routinely whenever any disturbing disease symptoms occur.

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