Red Blood Cell Count

This test measures the total number of circulating red blood cells (RBC's) in a portion of blood. The red blood cells are valuable because they contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen to body tissues. This test is used to evaluate red blood cell disorders such as anemia, or hypoxia (decreased oxygen to body tissues).

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is necessary.

  • Avoid strenuous exercise before having this test.

NORMAL FINDINGS

(RBC x 106/μl or RBC x 10 12/L [ SI units])

  • Adult/elderly

  • Male: 4.7-6.1

  • Female: 4.2-5.4

  • Children

  • Newborn: 4.0-7.1

  • 2-8 weeks: 4.0-6.0

  • 2-6 months: 3.5-5.5

  • 6 months – 1 year: 3.5-5.2

  • 1-6 years: 4.0-5.5

  • 6-18 years: 4.0-5.5

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.