The complete blood count is one of the most basic and commonly used medical tests. It is a test to measure the concentration of various different components in a blood sample drawn from an individual. For healthy human beings there are ranges for various different components. The quantity of each component should fall within the normal range. Any variation from the range, particularly a strong variation can be linked with a medical condition. The complete blood count is usually the first test conducted on a patient when the patient has symptoms of a disease or infection and also when the patient is admitted to hospital. The complete blood count test is conducted on a sample of blood, usually drawn from a vein in the upper forearm of the patient.
The blood is responsible for transporting nutrition, oxygen, hormones and many other substances around the body. The heart creates pressure which allows the blood to move continuously around the body. The blood is measured for its components because it carries so many different components that are diagnostically relevant. The most important components when it comes to a complete blood count are the red blood cells, the white blood cells, the platelet count and the hemoglobin levels. Many common conditions are diagnosed using these parameters.
ESR stands for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate. It is a test that is conducted to check the speed at which the red blood cells precipitate over a period of time. The results are measured as millimeters per hour. Normal male humans have a rate between 12 and 20 mm through their lives and women have a rate of between 18 and 23 through their lives. When the rate is higher, it is diagnostically relevant as it is this data that can be used to support a diagnosis of a number of diseases that include systemic lupus and kidney disease. There are other conditions that can be diagnosed using this test as well. Typically, the complete blood count with ESR is conducted as the first test on a patient suspected to have a disease or infection. The results of the ESR test are useful to plan further testing and to commence treatment depending on the condition that is suspected. The treatment of some conditions such as arthritis is monitored using the ESR test. This is because the ESR levels are also associated with inflammatory conditions.More articles from the Blood Tests Category