Complete Blood Count (CBC) - Normal Values and Result

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What Is Complete Blood Count (CBC)?

The Complete Blood Count or CBC is a simple blood test that provides detailed insights to three types of cells in the blood namely white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The test results provide answers to white blood cell count, platelet count, red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. The Complete Blood Count is usually suggested as an indicator to study the general health of any patient. CBC is usually included as part of a routine medical exam or prescribed by a doctor to detect possibility of health disorders. Certain symptoms may also trigger the need to do a Complete Blood Count blood test. Such symptoms include weakness, infection, bruising, bleeding, and inflammation.

How Is It Performed?

The Complete Blood Count is performed using a blood sample drawn from a vein in the arm or fingerstick (used for children and adults) or heelstick (used for infants). A tourniquet or elastic band may be tied around the arm to apply pressure on the veins and cause the veins to swell. The skin’s surface is then cleaned with an antiseptic agent before inserting a needle into the vein. The blood collected through the syringe is then stored in a vial for analysis. This is not a painful procedure and will only last for a few minutes. After the elastic band is removed a small bandage may be applied to stop the bleeding. The results are generated the same day. A repeat test may be required to confirm infections, anemia or other health disorders indicated by a complete blood count report. No specific preparations are required for this test.

Test Results

The specific results provided by a Complete Blood Count include: number of white blood cells (WBC), number of red blood cells (RBC), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), hemoglobin content (Hgb), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), hematocrit (Hct),), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), platelet volume and platelet count. A doctor can also ask for related blood tests such as blood smear, complete metabolic panel and complete blood count with differential white blood count. 

CBC Normal Values

The complete blood count normal values help understand the test results and also detect reasons behind any underlying symptoms. The test report carries the test results alongside the complete blood count normal values to understand the findings with ease.

The normal values for each parameter are:

  • White Blood Cell 3.3-8.7 K/uL
  • Red Blood Cell : 3.93-5.69 M/uL
  • Hemoglobin Content: 12.6-16.1 g/dL
  • Hematocrit Values: 38-47.7%
  • Platelets: 147-347 K/uL