Information About RBC (Red Blood Cells) Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Red blood cells or rbc are the most common type of cell in human blood and have the primary function of transmitting oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is essential for life and therefore red blood cells are significant for humans. Red blood cells use hemoglobin to help in transporting oxygen to various organs of the body. A lack of oxygen in various organs can cause severe problems and can even lead to death. Red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow.

Importance of RBC Test

Normal testing procedures when you are admitted in hospital include a red blood cell test. This test will check the quantity of cells in the blood stream and can be used to diagnose an underlying cause of your symptoms. Blood testing is also done as a preventative health measure to check and make sure that the levels of red blood cells are being maintained in the body.

There are various diseases that are associated with red blood cells. Thalassemia is a disease where there is an abnormal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. Anemia is a relatively common condition which is characterized by the lack of oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. This may be due to a reduced quantity of red blood cells. Aplastic anemia is a severe problem which is characterized by the inability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

A red blood cell test is carried out by drawing a sample of blood from your upper arm. This sample is drawn by a needle or an airtight syringe. Such a blood test is performed as a standard procedure when checking the vital signs of any person. It may be performed to confirm or rule out anemia. The normal range of red blood cells is between 4 million and 6.3 million cells per micro liter of blood. A high red blood cell count can indicate problems like heart disease, dehydration, kidney failure, or a situation where the red blood cells are compensating for their poor oxygen carrying capability. This may also occur at extremely high altitudes.

RBC Levels

A low level of red blood cells in your sample can indicate anemia, leukemia or malnutrition. It could also be due to excessive bleeding after an injury. A red blood in urine test is conducted to check the level of red blood cells in the urine. Abnormalities in this level can indicate kidney problems, or an infection in the urinary bladder